Study: Insulin pump beats injection in kids with Type 1 diabetes

Insulin pump treatments worked better than injections to boost glycemic control in children with Type 1 diabetes, a new observational study out of Australia concluded.

One scientist involved in the study won funding for the project, in part, from Novo Nordisk ($NVO), MedPage Today notes. The company has made some waves recently with the launch of a new insulin injection pen designed with children in mind. And this new research should give it another arrow in its quiver to promote treatment options that benefit pediatric patients.

As MedPage Today explains, the study is one of the longest and largest looking at insulin pump use in children. And the product came out on top. According to the results, the pump helped improve blood sugar levels both short- and long-term compared to insulin injections. Interestingly, patients in the pump group also faced a much lower rate of severe hypoglycemia than their injection counterparts and fewer hospitalizations for diabetic ketoacidosis.

The research team looked at 345 children with Type 1 diabetes who used insulin pump treatments and another 345 who remained on injections. The study lasted from 1999 to 2011, with an average patient age at the start of 11.5, according to the story. What was interesting, in part, was that patients who switched to pump therapy during the study experienced lower rates of severe hypoglycemia, but injection patients saw some jumps. Also, patients who started pump therapy ended up needing less insulin over time.

On the one hand, this study supported the long-term use of insulin pump therapy to improve glycemic control. But it also reaffirms the use of a pivotal treatment on children, a group that has been underserved by medical devices for years despite clamor to develop more pediatric-friendly devices. This latest research gives the medical device industry a way to demonstrate that its devices can, and are, helping kids just like adults.

- here's the full MedPage Today story
- check out the journal abstract

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