Hi-Tech Advances May Improve Diabetics' Lives

But new analysis shows they don't necessarily improve blood sugar control

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The use of continuous glucose monitors compared to self blood-glucose monitoring lowered A1C levels by .26 percent without increasing levels of severe hypoglycemia. And, the sensor-augmented pump reduced A1C levels by .68 percent compared to self blood-glucose monitoring in people with type 1 diabetes.

Golden said what matters most with any of these devices is adherence.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, agreed. "There are very good developments in technology that can really help patients and make their lives easier, but the patient has to be motivated," he said.

Zonszein said he was surprised that this analysis didn't find a benefit for the pump in preventing hypoglycemia. He said in his practice he sees fewer severe hypoglycemia episodes in his patients on pumps. But, he said that may be because this was a "meta-analysis" that combines different populations of people and different study designs.

"The only way to really know the comparative effectiveness would be to do a crossover study where each person spent several weeks using each technology," he explained.

More information

Learn more about continuous glucose monitoring from JDRF.

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