Continuous glucose monitoring or CGM was proven to be effective in type 1 diabetes cases as it could improve the patient’s glycemic control.
CGM has yielded mixed results. Whilst some studies proved its usefulness, others had inconclusive results. But two new studies specifically targeted its use in type 1 diabetes cases.
The two studies are known as DIAMOND and GOLD. Both trials released their results earlier this week. They were published on January 24, in the Journal of the Medical Association.
DIAMOND was a 24-week long study. It was conducted by Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida. Research was led by Roy W. Beck, an M.D., and Ph.D.
The GOLD trial was 26-weeks long. It was carried out at the Uddevalla Hospital. This is situated in Uddevalla, Sweden. Research was led by Marcus Lind. He is also an M.D. and Ph.D.
Both the studies targeted the use of CGM. And they both investigated it in type 1 diabetes patients that do not use wear insulin pumps. Estimates show that this is the case for most of the treated people.
The CGM was used to limit both hypo and hyperglycemia. These methods were used in both the GOLD and DIAMOND. This latter study involved 158 patients. GOLD included 161 patients.
Both the randomized trials had a similar purpose. They meant to study the effects of the continuous glucose monitoring. They meant to determine if it could actually improve the glycemic control. This latter is an essential element. It can help lower the risk of potential diseases complications.
As such, it could prevent nerve, kidney, and eye injuries. It may also help the cardiovascular system.
The studies also sought to determine if the glucose levels could be stabilized. More exactly, if they could have less unforeseen fluctuations. Previous studies had similar targets. However, most were based on insulin pump wearing patients.
The studies split the patients into two groups. One group had a CGM system. In it, the patient has a subcutaneous sensor. This can be changed every week by the person itself. The system estimates the blood’s glucose levels any minute. The information is sent to a small, hand-held monitor.
The other group used capillary finger sticks. This procedure is based on drawing blood from the fingertips. However, it can only be done on certain occasion.
Results gathered from the two groups showed the following. The CGM using group revealed a lower glycemic variability. More exactly, their glucose levels did not fluctuate as strongly. Data also showed a reduced glycemic control for the CGM group. This could mean a decreased complications risk.
Neither study revealed potential adverse reactions. CGM was not registered to have any noticeable side effects. The studies showed an improvement in both glycemic control and an improved variability.
CGM was also seen to improve the patient’s well-being. And to also show an increased treatment satisfaction. As such, the treatment should be a useful alternative for patients with the possibility to test it. The researchers state that they could test out the therapy. However, if they are not satisfied, they should go back to the capillary testing.
Other researchers recognized the potential beneficial effects. But they also pointed out some caveats. They argued that the CGM treatment is more costly. And they also drew attention to the relatively short duration of the trials. The fact that the patients did not wear insulin pumps was also mentioned.
Still, the researchers did reach a consensus. They all agreed that more clinical studies would be needed. These could help determine the long-term effects of CGM. And also if the method is indeed useful in real time. Or if it really improves the patient’s well-being.
Image Source: Flickr