Insulin pumps are a formidable choice in diabetes treatments says study

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

Researchers are saying that insulin pumps are a good treatment option and are “valuable” in the treatment of diabetics.

“Pumps enhance effective insulin absorption and increase insulin sensitivity thanks to the continuous daily subcutaneous insulin delivery. Our findings open up a valuable new treatment option for those individuals failing on current injection regimens and may also provide improved convenience, reducing the burden of dose tracking and scheduling, and decreasing insulin injection omissions,” said Prof. Reznik.

After a period of six months of insulin pump treatment as compared with those on insulin injections, the researchers found that blood sugar levels in participants who used the insulin pumps were lower than those who used the multiple insulin injections.

The study which included research from Kings College, UK, Dr. Pratik Choudhary of King’s College London said that the findings of their study provided “compelling evidence” as it relates to the efficacy of insulin pumps to treat type 2 diabetics who are unable to control blood sugar with insulin injections.

Choudhary also spoke to the issue of cost stating that the cost would have to be evaluated across various health care systems worldwide.

Four hundred and ninety five (495) adults between the ages of 30-75 all with type 2 diabetes were studied. They all presented with poor blood sugar control. During the two months of monitoring, they adults received multiple daily injections of insulin. After that two months had subsided and the results were collated, the team was able to identify 331 participants whose glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels (this is an indicator of blood sugar levels over 3 months), were above the target range of eight per cent.

Lower hyperglycemia levels

Through random identification, 168 participants received treatment with insulin pumps and 163 continued to receive treatment with insulin injections.

After 2 months, the team identified 331 participants whose glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels – an indicator of a patient’s blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months – were above the target range of 8% or less. Of these, 168 were randomly assigned to receive treatment with insulin pumps, while 163 continued with multiple daily insulin injections.

Apart from lowered blood sugar levels in those who used the pumps as abovementioned, the researchers also found that approximately half of the participants had reached the target range of eight per cent as compared with only 28 per cent of those participants who used multiple insulin injections. The participants who used the pumps also experienced three hours a day less of hyperglycemia injections.

Interestingly, both groups on insulin injections and the insulin pump reported no changes (comparatively) in low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

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