An artificial pancreas developed at the University of Virginia (UVA) Center for Diabetes Technology improves blood sugar control for people ages two to 72 years with type 1 diabetes (T1D), according to a new combined analysis of three clinical trials.
Across the three trials, participants using the artificial pancreas spent an average of 2.8 more hours per day in their target blood sugar range compared with participants in control groups who used standard methods for managing their blood sugar.
The artificial pancreas is a diabetes-management solution that automatically monitors and regulates blood glucose. The device has an insulin pump that uses advanced control algorithms based on the person’s glucose-monitoring information to adjust the insulin dose as needed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the system for people ages six and older with T1D.
The new analysis was based on findings from 369 participants between the ages of two and 72 years who joined trials at eight US sites, including UVA Health. Among those participants, 256 were assigned to use the artificial pancreas system, with the remaining 113 assigned to a control group.
On average, the time participants using the artificial pancreas spent within their target blood glucose range was 13 percentage points higher than for participants in the control group. Benefits were seen both during the day and at night, though there was greater improvement overnight. The analysis showed that the participants using the artificial pancreas spent significantly more time within their target blood sugar range within one day of beginning to use the system.
The artificial pancreas also significantly decreased participants’ hemoglobin A1c (average blood sugar) levels. The average hemoglobin A1c levels of system users dropped from 7.5 percent to 7 percent, compared with a decrease from 7.6 percent to 7.5 percent in the control groups.
The improvements in both hemoglobin A1c levels and time spent within the target blood sugar range were consistent across all ages, as well as across racial and ethnic groups and regardless of household income level and how participants had previously managed their diabetes, per the researchers.
- This press release was originally published on the University of Virginia (UVA) Health website