New study finds insulin pump amongst the best treatments for diabetic kids

But can they afford it?
Loukia Papadopoulos
A kid using an infusion set.jpg
A kid using an infusion set.


A new study is highlighting the best treatment for children suffering from type 1 diabetes. The research found that a real-time continuous glucose monitor (CGM) plus an insulin pump had a “significantly” higher time in range of 70 percent.

This is according to a report published on diaTribe Learn on Friday.

“Curing diabetes is the ‘holy grail,’” told the news outlet Dr. Klemen Dovc, pediatric endocrinologist at the University Children’s Hospital in Ljubljana, assistant professor at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and lead of the new study.

Docs and his team used a global data registry to sample 5,219 youths under 21 years old with type 1 diabetes from 21 different countries. The researcher praised the new work.

“It nicely complements studies done on adults,” Dovc said adding that “manufactures see the benefit, too.” 

The article offered the Medtronic’sMiniMed 770G pump as one viable choice for diabetic children as it was the first automated insulin delivery (AID) system to be FDA-approved in 2020 for children as young as 2. 

“Type 1 diabetes is a family disease,” said Dr. Robert Vigersky, chief medical officer for Medtronic Diabetes. “The MiniMed 770G system provides a high level of care participation for parents and care partners who can leverage remote monitoring capabilities.”

The technology was also a favorite amongst users. “Having insulin pumps that allow for more physiologic insulin dosing with flexibility for much smaller doses for small children and extended boluses for higher fat meals makes meeting targets more realistic,” said Marissa Town, clinical director at non-profit Children With Diabetes.

But can everyone afford these pumps?

Non-profit Kyler Cares founded in 2018 by Kyle Banks, Broadway actor and person with type 1 diabetes, offers grants for CGMs and insulin pumps to those who cannot afford them. Banks claims to be receiving up to 10 applications for these tools per month. 

“The stakes are high for these families because unstable blood sugars can lead to long-term serious complications such as nerve damage, blindness and kidney disease,” told the news outlet Banks.

 “Many of these families are already struggling to pay for necessities such as food, housing and diabetes management supplies. Complications only exacerbate financial stress and the economic burden of the disease.”

Is it time to implement policy changes on diabetic treatments?

The study was published in the JAMA journal.

Study abstract:

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices have demonstrated efficacy in adults and more recently in youths and older adults with type 1 diabetes. In adults with type 1 diabetes, the use of real-time CGM compared with intermittently scanned CGM was associated with improved glycemic control, but there are limited data available for youths.

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