Insulin pumps control blood sugar better than multiple daily injections

While many people can manage type 2 diabetes with diet and medication, some individuals also need insulin therapy to control blood sugar levels.

In the largest study to date, researchers from the University of Caen Côte de Nacre Regional Hospital Center in France found that insulin pumps outperform daily injections on several measures - perhaps settling a debate that has been going on for years among medical professionals about which method is better.

Nearly 500 adults enrolled

The OPT2mise trial included 495 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 who had poorly controlled type 2 diabetes with insulin injections. Participants were randomly assigned to pump therapy or to continue on with multiple injections.

Researchers found that people who used pumps saw greater overall reduction in blood sugar levels than people who used daily injections. Twice as many patients in the pump therapy group reached target blood sugar ranges compared with individuals in the injection group. Also, patients who used pumps spent about three hours less every day in a state of hyperglycemia - which is when blood sugar becomes too high.

"Pumps enhance effective insulin absorption and increase insulin sensitivity thanks to the continuous daily subcutaneous insulin delivery," said lead author Professor Yves Reznik. "Our findings open up a valuable new treatment option for those individuals failing on current injection regimens and may also provide improved convenience, reducing the burden of dose tracking and scheduling, and decreasing insulin injection omissions."

The study also found that patients who used pumps had a daily dose of insulin that was 20 percent lower than in patients using injections.

According to Dr. Pratik Choudhary from King's College London, the next step will be to evaluate the cost effectiveness of pumps in various healthcare settings:

"OpT2mise provides a compelling case for the clinical effectiveness of insulin pump treatment in type 2 diabetes, suggesting that it can help improve glycaemic control in this difficult to treat group of patients who are unable to achieve glucose control despite increasing doses of insulin."

The study is published in The Lancet.

Source: The Lancet

Image via antpkr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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