The Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitor outperformed the FreeStyle Libre for reducing hypoglycemia in people with type 1 diabetes, a new trial has revealed.
In the I HART (Impact on Hypoglycemia Awareness of Real Time CGM and Intermittent Continuous Glucose Data) study, the Dexcom G5 was compared to the FreeStyle Libre, which is a flash glucose monitoring system, for time spent in hypoglycemia and fear of hypos.
The 40 type 1 diabetes participants involved had hypo unawareness or an episode of severe hypoglycemia within the last 12 months. They were all previously on a regimen of multiple daily injections (MDI) of insulin.
The participants were randomised to receive either the Dexcom G5 or Libre and monitored over a period of eight weeks.
As well as spending less time in hypoglycemia, Dexcom G5 users had less fear of hypoglycemia and better blood sugar control overnight.
The study is significant not because it demonstrates downsides of the Libre – the device is widely regarded as a major improvement on blood glucose testing – but because the CGM benefits displayed are clinically relevant and could influence future support for using CGMs in people with hypo unawareness.
The Dexcom G5 has the advantage of continuously monitoring glucose levels and has alarms to alert the user when glucose levels are dropping rapidly or are about to go too low. The FreeStyle Libre cannot alert people automatically in this way, however, like the Dexcom G5, it allows people to review trends and check sugar levels much more easily than is possible with blood glucose tests alone.
“This impactful study highlights the importance of innovative technologies in managing a challenging long-term condition which has serious health and psychological outcomes for young people,” said lead author Nick Oliver, Imperial College London.
“It supports the role of real-time CGM devices with alerts and alarms in the clinical pathway for people with type 1 diabetes, especially those with a high risk of hypoglycaemia and impaired hypoglycaemia awareness.”
John Lister, General Manager, Dexcom EMEA, added: “We are delighted that the Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM System was able to demonstrate such a significant reduction in hypoglycemia both during the day and at night, while also reducing the fear associated with hypoglycaemia.”
The findings have been published in Diabetic Medicine.

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