Insulin pumps are safer than injections, study concludes

Patients who use insulin pumps rather than daily insulin injections have a 29 percent reduced risk in mortality and a 43 percent reduced risk of fatal heart disease, a new study reports.

More than 18,000 patients with Type 1 diabetes were analyzed for the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Comparing 2,441 patients who used insulin pump treatment with 15,727 patients who used multiple daily insulin injections, researchers found that all-cause mortality and risk for fatal cardiovascular complications were significantly reduced in the former group.

Fewer long-term complications

Normally, factors such as type of care, blood sugar control, diabetes education, or adherence could affect results in this type of study, but the authors said they carried out a sensitivity analysis that demonstrated these factors didn't influence the findings.

Many diabetics prefer insulin pumps to daily injections as the pumps can be programmed to release small doses of insulin (mimicking the body's natural release of the hormone) which can help better control blood sugar.

"This study showed that pump treatment of Type 1 diabetes was beneficial with regard to long-term complications," the authors said. "However, it is important to note that the patients treated with pump therapy in this study were selected from the total patients with Type 1 diabetes because they were able and willing to manage use of a pump."

Source: Diabetologia

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