Diabetes and heart disease are often two closely related diseases. But new reports show that insulin pumps can help prevent you from facing the severe effects of both diseases and even death.
Fox news reports on the importance of using insulin pumps. People with type 1 diabetes need to control their blood sugar with insulin, but getting it automatically from an implanted pump will probably also stave off death from heart disease.
How was the latest study on insulin pumps conducted?
“Among more than 18,000 type 1 diabetics in Sweden followed over time, those with an insulin pump were about half as likely to die of heart-related causes, and 25 percent less likely to die of any cause, compared to those who injected themselves with insulin many times a day,” according to Fox.
Insulin pumps give insulin twenty-four hours a day through a catheter that is placed under the skin in a person’s body. The insulin is brought in either at a steady measured and continuous dose, or if more is needed, such as at mealtime, the dose can be heightened. This system is created to more closely mimic the body's normal dispatch of insulin, which is why the pump is so great.
Lead study author Dr. Isabelle Steineck, did comment on the study. She said,
“Our study shows that treatment with an insulin pump almost halves the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Personally I think that more persons with type 1 diabetes could benefit from using an insulin pump as long as they get all the right education about the pump and are able to understand how to use it.”
In past studies, the authors point out, have shown that insulin pumps provide greater control of blood sugar than many daily injections.
Previous research has shown that even with fairly well controlled blood sugar, people with diabetes have a threat of death from cardiovascular causes, and any cause, about double that of the general population. When blood sugar is not controlled well, the threat is numerous times higher, according to the study’s team.
Dr. Steineck and her team looked at 18,168 patients with type 1 diabetes. Out of these patients, 15,727 controlled their diabetes with multiple daily injections of insulin, while the other 2,441 patients used implanted insulin pumps. The group of patients was followed for around seven years, until December of 2012.
The research group scrutinized the rates of fatal coronary heart disease, fatal cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease or stroke) and fatality from all causes.
“Using an insulin pump was associated with a 45 percent reduction in risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared to using injected insulin, a 42 percent risk reduction for fatal cardiovascular disease and a 27 percent lower risk of dying from any cause,” according to Fox.
The study was large and comprehensive, which many commentators say makes the data even more reliable. Many endocrinologists are saying that the study gives them a good idea about long term outcomes attributed to the use of insulin pumps and they are hopeful that the use of insulin pumps will become more common.