The Use of Insulin Pumps With Meal Bolus Alarms in Children With Type 1 Diabetes to Improve Glycemic Control

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to determine whether the use of meal bolus alarms would result in fewer missed meal boluses per week in youth with type 1 diabetes using continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) therapy.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

This was a randomized trial of 48 youth using CSII, who were in suboptimal glycemic control with HbA1c (A1C) values ≥8.0%. Twenty-four subjects were randomized to use a Deltec Cozmo insulin pump with meal bolus alarms (experimental group), while the other 24 subjects continued use of their current insulin pumps (control group) without meal bolus alarms.

RESULTS

After 3 months of study, the number of missed meal boluses per week was significantly lower in the experimental group (from 4.9 ± 3.7 to 2.5 ± 2.5; P = 0.0005) but not significantly lower in the control group (from 4.3 ± 2.7 to 4.2 ± 3.9; P = 0.7610). Also after 3 months, the mean A1C value of the experimental group declined significantly (from 9.32 ± 1.12 to 8.86 ± 1.10; P = 0.0430). No significant decline in A1C was present for the control group (from 8.93 ± 1.04 to 8.67 ± 1.17; P = 0.1940). After 6 months of study, the significant decline in A1C from baseline in the experimental group was no longer present. Pooling of all available data from the control and experimental groups showed that at baseline and 3 and 6 months, the number of missed meal boluses per week was significantly correlated with A1C values.

CONCLUSIONS

While meal bolus alarms may have the potential to improve suboptimal glycemic control in youth using CSII, our results demonstrated that these alarms had only a transient, modest effect in doing so.

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