Insulin pumps effective for children with diabetes

Pre-school youngsters with type I diabetes can be treated as successfully with insulin pumps as with daily injections, researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine report.

A clinical trial at the Riley Hospital for Children studied 20 patients 5 years old or younger receiving treatment with continuous insulin infusion by pump and 17 who were receiving injection therapy. Physicians compared control of blood sugar levels, parents' satisfaction and safety in both groups.

"Pump therapy was safe and well tolerated," says endocrinologist Linda A. DiMeglio, M.D., who led the study. "This therapy in preschool-aged children was not associated with clinically significantly differences in glycemic control compared to intensive injection therapy."

Parents were satisfied with the pumps; 95 percent of families continued use of the device after the six-month study was completed.

"It remains to be seen whether the benefit of insulin pump therapy in terms of flexibility and convenience justify the increased costs for very young children with diabetes," Dr. DiMeglio says. "Studies of long-term outcomes of children started on pump therapy at very young ages also are needed."

Type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes, is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. With type I diabetes, the body does not produce the insulin which is necessary for the body to be able to metabolize sugar.

The IU study's findings appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics.

http://medicine.indiana.edu

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