BERLIN – A significant reduction in severe hypoglycemia was seen within the first year of using continuous glucose monitoring in a registry study of more than 3,000 children with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Prior to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) use, 3.9% of 3,171 individuals, aged a median of 12 years, had hypoglycemia events requiring external help. After 6 months of using CGM, however, the rate of severe hypoglycemia had fallen to 1.2% (P = .10), which remained at 1.2% at 12 months (P = .002). The event rate (events per 100 patient-years) was 10.6 at baseline, 7.8 at 6 months, and 6.1 at 12 months.

Fewer hypoglycemia events leading to coma or convulsion were seen with CGM over time, with 1.3%, 0.6%, and 0.7% of patients reporting at least one event at baseline, 6 months (P = .08), and 12 months (P = .15), respectively. Corresponding event rates were 2.5, 1.6, and 1.7 per 100 patient-years.

“The use of continuous glucose monitoring systems has increased considerably in the past years in individuals with type 1 diabetes,” noted Julia Hermann, a PhD student at Ulm University (Germany), at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. “In Germany, for example, CGM use rose considerably when reimbursement by health insurance for CGM started in the summer of 2016.”

Ms. Hermann noted that there were studies showing improved metabolic control with CGM but that clinical studies were often limited by the population of patients studied, restricting treatment to selected patients who may have been adhering better to the use of CGM because they were in a trial.

The aim of the present study was to assess metabolic control and acute complications associated with CGM use in children during its first year of use in a real-world population. Anonymized patient records from the prospective German-Austrian-Luxembourg diabetes patient follow-up (DPV) registry were used.

The DPV database is a standardized, computed-based registry of more than 500,000 adult and pediatric patients with all types of diabetes. It was established in 1995 and receives data from 471 diabetes clinics in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

For the current analysis patients had to be aged under 18 years, have had type 1 diabetes mellitus for at least 1 year, have data available for the months prior to starting CGM, and have at least 1 year of follow-up. For inclusion there also had to be documented use of CMG for at least half of the observation time.

The reduction of severe hypoglycemia observed was not accompanied by any deterioration in metabolic control, Ms. Hermann reported. The median baseline glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was 7.6% (59 mmol/mol) and this did not noticeably change at either the 6- or 12-month follow-up time point. Furthermore, the percentage of patients achieving a target HbA1c of less than 7.5% was 52% at baseline, 55% at 6 months, and 52% at 12 months.

The rate of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), defined as a pH of less than 7.3, also did not change significantly from baseline to the two follow-up points, with event rates of 1.5, 1.4, and 1.1, and the percentage of patients with at least one event being 0.8%, 0.5%, and 0.4%.

“We analyzed an overall well-controlled group of pediatric individuals with type 1 diabetes,” Ms. Hermann said. “We observed a significant reduction of severe hypoglycemia. We observed no improvements in HbA1c, but the overall HbA1c remained stable. We observed no statistically significant change in DKA.”

Future research will try to address some of the limitations that the current data may have, such as looking at a longer follow-up period and other endpoints such as hospitalization, Dr. Hermann suggested. Subgroup analyses are also planned.

“Large databases like the DPV registry ... provide a contemporary picture of diabetes treatment and how the use of diabetes technology has changed over the years and also how diabetes outcomes have improved over the years,” Ms. Hermann said. “It has yet to be seen how most recent changes and advances in diabetes technology will affect these long-term trends.”

The work was partially funded by the German Center for Diabetes Research, the German Diabetes Society, Abbott, and Sanofi. Dr. Hermann reported no personal conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Hermann J et al. EASD 2018, Abstract 149.