A new UK study has revealed that continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) can help people with type 1 diabetes spot hypoglycemia more easily and promptly than flash monitoring.
We know from previous research that CGMs can measurably increase the amount of time spent in and above glucose target range as well as reduce the time below that same range in type 1 diabetes.
Adults with type 1 diabetes who have diminished awareness of hypoglycemia, which represent roughly a quarter of this population, are considered to be at high-risk for severe hypoglycemia.
This new study, presented last week at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference, shows that they are the ones susceptible to benefit the most from using a CGM.
Researchers also suggest that when it comes to improving hypoglycemia unawareness, CGMs may be a better choice than simply using an intermittent flash glucose monitor.
Although, the study comparing those two fairly different types of glucose monitoring was perhaps more likely to reach this conclusion. It was sponsored by Dexcom, the manufacturer of the widely used G5 CGM device.
This is not to say that flash glucose monitoring isn’t an efficient way of self-monitoring blood sugars. Data from more than 50,000 users in previous studies support that the FreeStyle Libre significantly improves blood sugar control in type 1 diabetes.
And, the results of this new study actually show that Abbott’s Freestyle Libre, used here for comparison, improved HbA1c levels and the amount of time spent in the target glucose range as much as the G5 did.
But, when looking at the impact on hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia awareness specifically, the G5 takes the lead and the benefits for users go well and beyond what the Freestyle Libre can offer.
This was assessed by the Gold score of impaired hypoglycemia awareness, a method used for quantifying awareness of hypoglycemia.
The study involved 40 participants with long-standing type 1 diabetes and hypo-unawareness who had never used CGMs. Those assigned to CGM experienced a reduction in the Gold score, whereas the score didn’t budge for Freestyle Libre users.
The use of real-time CGM over the Freestyle Libre also reportedly minimised people’s fear of hypoglycemia and worries of consequences it has for their entourage.

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