FreeStyle Libre reduces incidences of low blood glucose in type 1 diabetes, audit reports

Jack Woodfield
Mon, 17 Jun 2019
FreeStyle Libre reduces incidences of low blood glucose in type 1 diabetes, audit reports
The FreeStyle Libre reduced incidences of low blood glucose in roughly 80% of people with type 1 diabetes, a new UK audit has shown.

The new audit into the flash glucose monitoring system was carried out by the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD), with the results published at the American Diabetes Association's 79th Scientific Session earlier this month.

In the ABCD audit, the study team initially collected data from 4,709 people with type 1 diabetes. They then followed up on 1,299 of this group, comparing health data in the year before initiation of the FreeStyle Libre with the results six months on from using the device.

According to ABCD, there was a "significant improvement in diabetes control" measured by HbA1c, especially in people who had higher glucose levels before using the Libre.

A total of 79% participants said time in hypoglycemia went down with use of the device, while 31% said frequency of hypos was reduced and 39% had less nocturnal hypos.

Additionally, 9% of the participants reported a reversal of hypo unawareness, and there was a significant improvement in the gold score, which is a measurement of awareness of blood glucose levels falling.

Hospital admissions for hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) were also reduced, although ABCD said a one-year follow up is required to confirm this set of findings.

There was also a major improvement in the Diabetes Distress Score, a diabetes-related emotional score.

Neil Harris, who is the General Manager of Abbott’s Diabetes Care Division for the UK &Ireland, said: "The results of the ABCD audit clearly evidence the positive impact that life changing technology can have for people with type 1 diabetes intensively using insulin.

"Not only this, but by making the FreeStyle Libre system more widely available through the NHS, an increased number of those with type 1 diabetes are more likely to successfully achieve glycaemic control and avoid diabetes related complications in the longer term."

NHS England announced earlier this year that the Libre, developed by Abbott, will be available for one in five people with type 1 diabetes from April 2019.
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