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Continuous Glucose MonitorTwo major JDRF-funded studies in the US have shown that continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) deliver better diabetes control with regular use for all age groups, while also reducing the frequency of hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood glucose levels that can lead to coma or death.

The first study showed that regular use of CGMs is the main factor in achieving better diabetes control, rather than the age of people using the monitors, or other demographic, clinical, or psychosocial factors.  The second study showed that people using CGMs were able to achieve good diabetes control while at the same time actually lowering the incidence of hypoglycemia.

This is significant because good diabetes control is critical for reducing the risk of serious health complications associated with diabetes, like stroke, blindness, heart disease and kidney failure. However, this tight control can be difficult to achieve and is associated with increased occurrence of hypoglycemia, which is dangerously low blood glucose levels that can lead to coma or death. These results suggest that regular use of CGMs can overcome this risk.

“Based on these results and previous JDRF CGM trials published over the past 12 months, we know that these devices can help people get in control of their diabetes, help people already managing their disease maintain good control, and help people stay in control over an extended period of time, while lowering their risk for hypoglycemia,” said Dr. William V. Tamborlane, of Yale University, a co-chair of the JDRF funded study.

JDRF Australia CEO Mike Wilson said these results were important for Australia. “Consistent use of CGMs is now proven to have significant benefits for all people with type 1 diabetes.”

“CGMs are expensive for Australians but this research suggests that widespread use would deliver substantial savings for our health system in the long term. The type 1 diabetes community needs maximum access to technology that will improve both their health and their quality of life.”

These trials are part of JDRF International’s Artificial Pancreas Project. More information is available online at http://www.artificialpancreas.org. The findings of the two JDRF studies from the major multi-center trial have been published online by Diabetes Care at http://care.diabetesjournals.org/papbyrecent.shtml.

About CGM Devices

CGM devices provide both a real-time snapshot of the glucose levels of a person with diabetes, as well as trend information on whether glucose is moving upwards or downwards, and how fast.  Devices also provide warnings when the glucose is becoming too high or too low.

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3 comments

  1. Important stuff for everybody to be aware of.

    Good work.

  2. Thats great new but unfortunately the cost of this device and maintaing the device is out of reach for the ordinary Australian with type 1 diabetes..My husband has the Medtronic insulin pump but we can not afford the on going maintainance of the Glocose monitor device

    1. Hi Susan,
      yes I stretched myself to purchase a CGMS two years ago & my health fund covered the cost, but the ongoing cost of the sensors puts the daily use of this device way beyond my reach. Medtronic has recently improved the sensors so that they are now able to be used for 6 days each, rather than 3 days. I am saving up to buy my next batch of 10 sensors which will allow me to do some intensive monitoring and re-adjustments.