Home Blood Sugar Management Continuous glucose monitoring reduces risk of diabetic retinopathy

Continuous glucose monitoring reduces risk of diabetic retinopathy

by Denise Myshko
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The use of continuous blood sugar monitoring by people with type 1 diabetes was associated with a lower chance of developing diabetic retinopathy, according to a recent study. published inside JAMA network open.

Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina and can cause vision loss and blindness. This condition can occur in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics.

The use of continuous blood glucose monitoring (devices that automatically estimate blood sugar levels and provide real-time updates throughout the day) is increasing. One studya paper published in January 2024 found that among a sample of commercially insured people, 49.8% of people with type 1 diabetes used the device from 2016 to 2019, and 2010. This has increased from 20.1% in 2013.

People with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of diabetic retinopathy than people with type 2 diabetes.in research published last yearThirty percent of patients with type 1 diabetes had diabetic retinopathy.

researchers JAMA network open The paper suggests that insulin therapy and lowering HbA1c levels (a measure of blood sugar levels) may increase the risk and progression of diabetic retinopathy. Lisa M. Wolf, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Pediatric Diabetes Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues investigated whether the use of continuous glucose monitoring can help reduce diabetes risk in patients with type 1 diabetes. I wanted to evaluate it. I have developed diabetic retinopathy.

They conducted a retrospective cohort study in patients with type 1 diabetes. They analyzed electronic medical records from both the Johns Hopkins Endocrinology and Diabetes Center and the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore from 2013 to 2021.

Wolf and her colleagues first evaluated the use of continuous glucose monitoring technology in patients with diabetic retinopathy. These were patients who attended both the diabetes center and the eye clinic. The second analysis assessed the progression of diabetic retinopathy.

Of the 624 adults with type 1 diabetes who attended both the diabetes center and the eye clinic, 550 were on continuous blood glucose monitoring at the beginning of the study period. Of these patients, 44.4% were diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy.

Researchers found that the use of continuous blood sugar monitoring was associated not only with a lower risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, but also with a lower risk of disease progression. They suggested that the use of such technology reduces fluctuations in glucose levels.

“Compared to users who self-monitored their blood glucose levels with a fingertip glucose meter (BGM), CGM users spent more time within their blood glucose target range and had lower A1C levels,” the researchers wrote. ing. “CGM users also had a significantly lower risk of hypoglycemia-related emergency room or hospital admissions and a reduced risk of hospitalization for any cause compared to non-users.”

One limitation the researchers identified was that they did not evaluate people covered by Medicare or Medicaid, which could be an area for future consideration.

Cost and lack of coverage for continuous blood glucose monitoring may be one reason for the slow uptake of these devices. Although the majority of patients in this study had their devices covered as durable medical equipment, the researchers found that in more recent periods of the study, more patients utilized prescription coverage. It points out that he was accessing her CGM. They said insurance issues could be a barrier to access.

“Wide use of CGM may help people achieve better glycemic control and reduce complications associated with type 1 diabetes,” the researchers concluded.

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