Artificial Pancreas Effective for Patients with Type 1 Diabetes

By Kelly Young

Edited by Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM


Artificial pancreases are associated with more time in a normal glycemic range for patients with type 1 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis in The BMJ.

Researchers analyzed roughly 40 randomized trials of artificial pancreas versus other insulin treatments in 1000 children, adolescents, and adults with type 1 diabetes.

Artificial pancreas patients spent 140 minutes more per day, or about 10% more time, in normoglycemic range (3.9–10 mmol/L) than the control groups. This is primarily due to the artificial pancreas’s overnight effects. The artificial pancreas patients also spent less time in hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

Most studies were at high risk for bias, editorialists note. They conclude: “Closed loop systems can improve control overnight, and reduce the burden of self-management during the day by reducing frequent decisions on adjustments to insulin dose. However, we do not know whether these systems reduce the long term complications of diabetes.”

The BMJ article (Free)