Switching diabetes patients onto insulin pumps could save lives, study suggests

Insulin pump therapy for type 1 diabetes is likely to save more lives than multiple daily injections by reducing complication rates, according to researchers.

Insulin pumps: could save lives (Photo: SPL)
Insulin pumps: could save lives (Photo: SPL)

Initial findings from a study in Sweden showed a 29% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 43% drop in fatal cardiovascular diseases, such as CHD or stroke.

Researchers said insulin pump technology can reduce rates of long-term complications.

The team from the University of Gothenburg compared the health of 2,441 type 1 patients who used continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion with 15,727 patients who administered multiple daily insulin injections.

Researchers said it was unlikely that factors such as frequency of blood sugar control and diabetes education had affected the results.

Study authors said: 'The conclusion of this large observational study is that pump treatment may be associated with a lower risk of CVD and all-cause mortality than injections.

'This study showed that pump treatment of type 1 diabetes was beneficial with regard to long-term complications. 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.'

The research was presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting in Vienna, Austria. It is one of only a few studies to look at long-term effects of insulin pump therapy.

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