In continuous glucose monitoring, an individual with diabetes wears a sensor to provide continuous measurement of glucose levels. This information can help patients identify patterns in how glucose levels respond to meals and exercise, assisting with day-to-day management of the condition.
In adults, this technology has helped patients develop and maintain glucose control. However, management of type 1 diabetes can be more difficult in children. Moreover, parents are responsible for diabetes management and previous studies have shown that parents’ fear of hypoglycemia may prevent better glycemic control.
Scientists funded in part through the Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch conducted a clinical trial to assess the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring in 4- to 9-year-old children with type 1 diabetes. The researchers found that although parents were very satisfied with the technology, children with continuous glucose monitoring did not achieve improved glycemic control. Parental fear of hypoglycemia did not decrease, and children tended to wear the sensors less frequently over time.
The results suggest caution in adopting new monitoring technology for children with type 1 diabetes (PMID: 22210571).