Insulin Pumps Show Benefits Beyond Convenience

Patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have long known the benefits of ease and convenience that comes with using an insulin pump instead of relying on multiple daily insulin injections to control their condition. A recent study has shown that using a pump is also associated with positive effects on long-term cardiovascular risk and mortality.

Patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have long known the benefits of ease and convenience that comes with using an insulin pump instead of relying on multiple daily insulin injections to control their condition. A recent study has shown that using a pump is also associated with positive effects on long-term cardiovascular risk and mortality.

Researchers analyzed the records of more than 18,000 patients with type 1 diabetes in the Swedish National Diabetes Register and found that patients who relied on insulin pump treatment (continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion) saw a 29% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 43% reduction in their risk of fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to patients who used daily insulin injections.

A press release for the study noted that pumps have been used for more than three decades but that very little has been known about their effect on long-term CVD risk and mortality. The participant pool included 2,441 patients with a pump and 15,727 patients with multiple daily insulin injections. Participants were studied for an average of 7 years to see the progress of their condition.

While the authors of the study noted that other factors including blood sugar control, glucose monitoring, and personality could have played a role in the results of their work, a sensitivity analysis performed on the data suggested this is unlikely.

“This study showed that pump treatment of type 1 diabetes was beneficial with regard to long-term complications,” the authors noted. “However, it is important to note that the patients treated with pump therapy in this study were selected from the total patients with type 1 diabetes because they were able to and willing to manage use of a pump.”