Insulin pump may curb heart disease risk by half

New York: People with Type-1 diabetes who use insulin pump therapy face almost 50 percent less risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who take insulin by multiple daily injections, a new study says.

The findings suggest that insulin pumps not only make life easier for patients, but represent a safe and effective treatment method.

The researchers monitored 18,168 people with Type-1 diabetes from 2005 to 2012 in Sweden.

While 2,441 of the participants used insulin pump therapy, the others relied on multiple daily injections.

The study found that insulin pump users had a substantially lower risk of dying of cardiovascular disease than the daily injection group.

“We carefully analysed the findings to eliminate the risk of bias or confounding and concluded that the effect had been fully verified,” said Isabelle Steineck, researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden.

One reason for the difference between the two therapies is that the insulin pump method is accompanied by more extensive patient training and more frequent blood glucose monitoring, Steineck said.

“There is a rationale for insulin pump treatment resulting in more stable blood glucose concentrations than multiple daily injections” she said.

“Previous studies have shown that insulin pump can reduce the frequencies of severe hypoglycemic episodes. Severe hypoglycaemia can be a risk factor for cardiovascular events, particularly among high risk individuals,” Steineck explained.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).