Pump May Beat Shots for Type 1 Diabetes
TUESDAY, Oct. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In young people with type 1 diabetes, insulin pump therapy may offer better blood sugar control and fewer complications than daily injections of the vital hormone, new German research suggests.
"Insulin pumps work, and they work even somewhat better than multiple daily injections overall," said Dr. Robert Rapaport, chief of the division of pediatric endocrinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Dr. Siham Accacha, a pediatric endocrinologist at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., explained why that might be so.
"If the pump is really taken care of, you can micromanage your diabetes," she said. "You can stop the pump if your blood glucose is coming down, or you can give a bit more insulin if it's going up."
Both Rapaport and Accacha prefer pump use, but if patients would rather do multiple daily injections, the doctors said that excellent control can also be maintained with shots. It's really a matter of patient preference, they noted.
One issue with the pump is price. The start-up cost for a pump can be as much as $5,000, according to Accacha. And there are monthly costs for supplies as well. Insurers, especially Medicaid, sometimes hesitate to pay, both experts said. But studies like this latest one help provide more evidence about the importance of pump therapy.
"Pumps are more expensive, but I don't think expense should guide quality of therapy," Rapaport said. "Even though pumps are more expensive, they lead to better results and less complications, so health care costs will even out."
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