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Lasting Benefits With Insulin Pump Therapy for Children
Sustained improvement in glycemic control; drop in severe hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis

TUESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin pump therapy is associated with sustained improvement in glycemic control as well as reductions in severe hypoglycemia and hospitalization for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online Aug. 18 in Diabetologia.

Stephanie R. Johnson, from the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth, Australia, and colleagues examined the impact of insulin pump therapy on long-term glycemic control, body mass index (BMI), rate of severe hypoglycemia, and DKA in a cohort of 345 children treated with insulin pump therapy at a single institution who were matched to injection-treated controls.

The researchers found that the mean hemoglobin A1c reduction was 0.6 percent in the pump cohort, and that the reduction remained significant during seven years of follow-up. Severe hypoglycemia was reduced significantly from 14.7 to 7.2 events per 100 patient-years with pump therapy. Over the same period, severe hypoglycemia increased significantly in the non-pump cohort, from 6.8 to 10.2 events per 100 patient-years. Over the 1,160 patient-years of follow-up, the rate of hospitalization for DKA was significantly lower in the pump cohort (2.3 versus 4.7 per 100-patient-years).

"We conclude that insulin pump therapy is associated with a significant improvement in glycemic control, which is sustained over many years," the authors write. "In our cohort, this improvement was achieved with reduced rates of severe hypoglycemia and DKA, without an increase in BMI."

The lead author was funded by a Novo Nordisk fellowship.

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