The results of a major study suggest that continuous glucose monitors can be an important part of blood sugar management for older adults with type 1 diabetes.
Results from the joint Helmsley Charitable Trust and JDRF-funded Wireless Innovation for Seniors with Diabetes Mellitus (WISDM) trial were released during the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 79th Scientific Sessions, according to a report by Close Concerns.
The study examined continuous glucose monitor (CGM) use among individuals living with type 1 diabetes aged 60 and above, and if wearing CGMs could help reduce hypoglycemia for this group. Richard Pratley, MD of AdventHealth Diabetes Institute delivered the study results in a presentation at the Scientific Sessions conference.
For the study, researchers followed 203 participants across several centers over a six-month period. They first established a blood sugar trend baseline for the participants, and then checked in with participants at specified intervals – 10 days, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 16 weeks, and 26 weeks. The CGM group wore a Dexcom G5 CGM for the study, while the blood glucose monitoring (BGM) group used blood glucose meters as well as a CGM that only delivered glucose measurements to researchers.
Examining the data, the researchers found marked differences between the two groups, such as:
- A 27-minute overall difference in the time participants spent below 70 mg/dL between the CGM and the control groups
- A decrease at the 8-week mark in the time spent below 70 mg/dL for the CGM group only;
- A decrease of 14 minutes per day in the amount of time spent below 54 mg/dL for the CGM group
- An increase of approximately 2 hours spent per day in an optimal blood glucose range for the CGM groupA decrease of 1.4 hours per day of the time spent above 180 mg/dL for the CGM group
- Improvements in HbA1c for the CGM group
The positive results for CGM therapy occurred for both those who used insulin pumps and those who used multiple daily injections.
This study also provided data to document just how much help older adults with type 1 diabetes might need with blood sugar management. According to a Healio report, baselined data from the study showed that older adults living with type 1 diabetes “spent more than an hour per day on average with blood glucose levels in the hypoglycemic range and more than 20 minutes per day with levels less than 54 mg/dL.”