HealthDay News — A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) helps patients with type 1 diabetes better manage their blood glucose levels, according to two studies published in the Janunary 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

One study led by Marcus Lind, MD, PhD, of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, included 161 patients with type 1 diabetes at 15 diabetes clinics in Sweden. Their average age was 44. The patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group was given continuous glucose monitoring for 26 weeks, and then conventional therapy for 26 weeks, with a period of no monitoring for 17 weeks in between. The other group did this in reverse and started with conventional therapy.

The second study was led by Roy Beck, MD, PhD, executive director of the Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Fla. This study included 158 patients. Their average age was 48. They were treated at 24 endocrinology practices across the country. These volunteers were randomly given 24 weeks of continuous glucose monitoring therapy or conventional therapy. 

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In both studies, blood glucose levels improved in both groups of patients. Hemoglobin A1c levels dropped for those using CGMs. In Beck’s study, there was a mean drop of 0.6% more in hemoglobin A1c for the CGM group versus the control group. In Lind’s research, the decrease was about 0.4% more in those on CGMs than the control group. Both study authors said these drops were meaningful for patients. Lind’s group also saw a drop in hypoglycemia in patients on a CGM.

Both studies used the Dexcom G4 CGM, and were funded by the manufacturer, Dexcom Inc.

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