(HealthDay News) — Insulin pumps help improve hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) levels in children and teens with type 1 diabetes and should be made more widely available, researchers report. The study was published online Nov. 7 in Diabetologia.
Jennifer Sherr, M.D., Ph.D., of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues looked at three diabetes registries in the United States, Germany/Austria, and England/Wales that included 54,410 children and teens with type 1 diabetes. The researchers compared HbA1c levels among patients with type 1 diabetes who used either insulin pumps or insulin injections.
The team found that mean HbA1c levels were 8 percent for those using insulin pumps. For those using insulin injections, the researchers found a mean HbA1c level of 8.5 percent. The researchers also found that only 22 percent of children in ethnic minorities had pumps, compared with 34 percent of non-minority children. In addition, girls were more likely to have pumps than boys — 34 versus 30 percent.
The study authors called for further research into expanding the use of insulin pumps among young patients regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, or country.