JDRF has funded another study that has shown the benefits of using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to help manage type 1 diabetes. In September 2009, research confirmed that regular CGM use—six days per week or more—is the principal factor in achieving better diabetes control, not the age of the individual using the monitor or other demographic, clinical, or psychosocial factors. A second study found that people who continued using a CGM were able to sustain good control long-term while experiencing a lower rate of hypoglycemia—the dangerous low blood sugar incidents that can occur with tightly managed type 1 diabetes. Both studies were published in Diabetes Care.
This research follows a major clinical trial in October 2008 that found that people who used a CGM experienced significant improvements in blood sugar control—and as a result, significant reductions in the risk of diabetic complications. In large part because of the trial’s positive results, most national health insurers have expanded their policies to include or broaden their coverage of CGMs. In May 2009, a study published in Diabetes Care found that CGMs enable people who have already achieved excellent control (HbA1c levels below 7 percent) to continue to tightly manage their diabetes while cutting down on the frequency of low blood sugar emergencies.