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Insulin pump use rising among Australias type 1 diabetics

An increasing number of people with type 1 diabetes in Australia are using insulin pumps to help control their condition, a new study has revealed.
A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showed that more than 10,500 type 1 diabetics use these small computerised devices to administer their daily insulin doses, instead of the more traditional method of injecting the hormone, representing 10 per cent of Australia’s type 1 diabetes population.
The research, which is based on a snapshot of insulin pump use from June 2011, also indicates that nearly half of all pump users are under 25 and over 60 per cent are female.
Furthermore, it shows that more people with type 1 diabetes are adopting insulin pump therapy relatively soon after diagnosis than in the past. In 1997, less than 1 per cent began using an insulin pump within 2 years of being diagnosed with the disease. But in 2009, the figure was 18 per cent.
Despite the many benefits of these diabetes-controlling devices, the AIHW found that their high costs may be a barrier for many Australians.
The cost of insulin pumps in Australia varies between $4,000 and $9,000 (£2,675 – £6,019), while the ongoing average cost of consumable attachments – e.g. infusion sets, batteries and pump reservoirs – is currently $29 (£19) per month, compared with a $6 per month cost for injection therapy.

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