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Hi-Tech Advances May Improve Diabetics' Lives
Date:7/10/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Many people with insulin-dependent diabetes embrace new technologies that promise to make management of their blood sugar levels easier.

But a new analysis of 33 existing studies suggests that newer isn't necessarily better in terms of blood sugar control.

"We found similar levels of glycemic control and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when we compared insulin pumps versus multiple daily injections," said the study's lead author, Dr. Sherita Hill Golden, an associate professor of medicine and endocrinology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

"In adults with type 1 diabetes, there was a slight advantage to the pump. And, there was a suggestion that people that use an insulin pump had a somewhat better quality of life," Golden said.

"Continuous glucose monitoring, whether alone or with a pump, appears to be beneficial," she added.

The findings are published online July 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The studies the researchers reviewed compared insulin pumps with multiple daily injections; continuous glucose monitoring with self-monitoring; and sensor-augmented insulin pumps with multiple injections and self-monitoring.

There are two major types of diabetes -- type 1 and type 2. People with type 1, an autoimmune disease, make little to no insulin, a hormone that allows the body to use sugar as fuel. They must replace the lost insulin through multiple daily injections or through an insulin pump. Pumps deliver insulin through a tiny tube inserted under the skin based on information the user gives it. The pump site must be moved every few days.

Type 2 diabetes is often related to excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle. Initially, people with type 2 diabetes manage their disease with lifestyle changes and oral medications. But some people with type 2 also need to inject insuli
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