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Should continuous glucose monitoring systems be offered to all patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus?


Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is a chronic autoimmune condition characterised by autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cell. It is associated with macrovascular and microvascular complications. Tight glycaemic control has been shown to ameliorate the long-term complications of T1DM, but this benefit has to be balanced with the risk and fear of hypoglycaemia. Monitoring glucose levels frequently helps patients to achieve more intensive glycaemic control. Finger prick blood glucose monitoring has traditionally been the most commonly used method to monitor glucose levels. More recently, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, which measure interstitial glucose, have become available. CGM systems remove or significantly reduce the need for blood glucose testing and have been shown in real world and clinical trial settings to improve glycaemic control, reduce frequency of hypoglycaemia, improve recognition of hypoglycaemia and improve quality of life. The question now is whether CGM should replace capillary blood glucose measurements and be offered to all patients with T1DM.

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Correspondence to Michael John Lockhart.

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Lockhart, M.J., Smith, D. Should continuous glucose monitoring systems be offered to all patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus?. Ir J Med Sci (2021).

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  • Continuous glucose monitoring
  • Flash glucose monitoring
  • Glycaemic control
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Type 1 diabetes