By: Radha McLean
Infusing insulin on a continuous basis has been shown to help control sugar levels and hypoglycemia in children and adolescents.
According to research published in the February issue of Pediatrics, Georgeanna J. Klingensmith, MD, and colleagues at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver tested continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion using an insulin pump.
Researchers tested pump use on 56 children and adolescents with type 1 between the ages of seven and 23. Their metabolic control was measured before and after treatment for an average of 12 months.
Nearly two thirds of the patients achieved HbA1c levels below 8.1% (from 8.5%). Also, the children were shown to have less frequent episodes of seizures and hypoglycemia.
On the downside, 20 percent of the patients showed an increase in HbA1c levels, from an average of 7.8% to an average of 8.8%.
Researchers are examining the characteristics of the children who are likely to fail in the treatment. They note that, in most cases, the failures occurred when insulin boluses were not given for meals and snacks.