People with diabetes can achieve better blood sugar control by combining continuous glucose monitoring devices with insulin pumps, according to new research published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine .
Insulin pumps and real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) are new technologies designed to improve blood glucose control and quality of life for diabetics .
In an effort to determine which methods offer the best benefits, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore analysed 33 studies comparing the new therapies to traditional methods, which consist of daily insulin injections and painful finger sticks .
They found that multiple insulin jabs worked just as well as the newer insulin pumps at regulating blood glucose levels in children, teens and adults with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Patients who used CGM had better blood glucose levels than people who relied on finger sticks alone, although the two methods were equally effective at preventing hypoglycemia, while insulin pumps were found to be no more effective for controlling blood glucose than insulin jabs in most of the studies.
However, most of the studies showed that patients who used sensor-augmented pumps together with CGM controlled their better blood glucose levels better than those who used standard finger stick monitoring and injections .
Lead author Sherita Hill Golde, MD, of Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said: “When we compared the new to the old, we saw a much greater improvement in glucose control when the newer devices were used together.”
She warned that further research is needed as many of the included studies were small, of short duration, and limited to caucasian patients with type 1 diabetes .

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