A large Scandinavian study has shown that insulin from an implanted pump could help stave off death from heart disease.
Diabetes patients who use insulin pumps could have reduced risk of heart disease deaths
Lead study author Dr. Isabelle Steineck from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark said the study found that "treatment with an insulin pump almost halves the risk of cardiovascular mortality”
Lead study author Dr. Isabelle Steineck from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and her team looked at 18,168 patients with type 1 diabetes in the Swedish National Diabetes Register.
Of these, 15,727 controlled their diabetes with multiple daily injections of insulin, while the other 2,441 patients used implanted insulin pumps. The group was followed for almost 7 years, until December 2012.
The study team analysed the rates of fatal coronary heart disease, fatal cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease or stroke) and death from all causes.
Insulin pumps were associated with a 45% reduction in risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared to using injected insulin, a 42% risk reduction for fatal cardiovascular disease and a 27 percent% lower risk of dying from any cause.
Futhermore, patients who used insulin pumps tended to be somewhat younger, had lower blood pressure and less heart disease, were more active, smoked less and were better educated.
But when the authors did a second analysis that only included the 16,427 patients without any history of cardiovascular disease, heart failure or a type of abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, the results were similar to those of the whole group.
The team however pointed out that they don’t know what other factors could have influenced their results, as better education and more frequent monitoring of blood sugar among insulin pump users could have helped lower their risk of heart disease, for example.
Also, Dr. Rubina Heptulla of Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Health System, New York agreed that the study cannot prove cause and effect because it is only based on observation of what happened over the years.
However Steineck said the study found that "treatment with an insulin pump almost halves the risk of cardiovascular mortality”
According to her,
“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,”
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