JDRF Research Shows CGM Improves Blood Sugar Control
A major clinical trial funded by JDRF found that people with type 1 diabetes who used continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices to help manage their disease experienced significant improvements in blood sugar control.
Results from the multi-center study were first published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The CGM study—a randomized, controlled trial involving 322 patients ages eight to 72—took place at 10 academic, community, and managed-care practices. Improvements were most evident in adults 25 years of age or older. In children, benefits were seen in some measures but not all, while teenagers and young adults, as a group, experienced no changes in glucose control compared with the control group. These latter results have since been shown to be due to less consistent CGM use among younger participants, confirming the researchers’ initial observations and findings that individuals of all ages who used CGM six days a week or more lowered their A1c by at least .5 in just six months—enough to reduce the risk of some complications by approximately 25 percent. In large part because of the CGM trial’s positive results, several large national health insurers have expanded their policies to include or broaden coverage of CGM. ABC News recognized the groundbreaking trial as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year. (October 2008)
CGM Also Benefits Patients Who Already Have Good Control
Additional results of the JDRF CGM trial, published in Diabetes Care, showed that people with type 1 diabetes who are already successfully managing their blood sugar can further benefit from using CGM devices. The study found that CGMs enable people who have achieved excellent control (with HbA1c levels below 7 percent) to continue to tightly manage their diabetes, while cutting down on the frequency of hypoglycemia. Research has shown that good blood sugar control is a key factor in reducing the risk of the devastating long-term complications of the disease—but that the fear of low blood sugar emergencies often prevents many people from achieving tight control and remains a constant concern for those who manage their diabetes well.
The study, which included 129 adults and children ranging in age from eight to 69, is the second major publication resulting from JDRF’s groundbreaking CGM trials, established to clinically document the benefits of CGM devices in helping people with type 1 diabetes manage their disease more effectively. (May 2009)
Regular CGM Use Increases Control in All Age Groups, Enables Good Control Long-Term
The newest information from JDRF’s CGM studies was published in September in an online issue of the journal Diabetes Care. One study, which sought to identify predictors of success among participants in the trial, showed that regular use of a CGM device—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. The analysis confirmed that in the first six months of the JDRF trial, more frequent CGM use was associated with greater reductions in HbA1c—a finding that was present in all age groups using the devices. The second study, a six-month extension of the CGM clinical trial aimed at evaluating long-term effects, showed that people who continued using CGM to help manage their disease were able to sustain good diabetes control. Just as importantly, it found that continued strong control was attained while actually lowering the incidence of hypoglycemia—the dangerous low blood sugar incidents that can occur with tightly managed type 1 diabetes. (September 2009)