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ABCD audit shows FreeStyle Libre impact on those with type 1 diabetes

By Editor
20th July 2020
Audits

The FreeStyle Libre system significantly improves glycaemic control and hypoglycaemic awareness, according to ABCD’s first national audit into the technology.

The findings were based on data taken from data more than 10,000 FreeStyle Libre system users from across 102 NHS hospitals in the UK.

The authors also found the system reduces diabetes distress and hospital admissions, while also improving HbA1c levels.

ABCD said so far there has been “no comprehensive, real-world, large population-based data sets looking at the impact of FreeStyle Libre on multiple aspects of diabetes care”.

Professor Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Clinical Lead, ABCD Nationwide FSL Audit, said: “These results apply to those patients with type 1 diabetes, whose diabetes is poorly controlled or those who suffer from complications such as frequent hypoglycaemia or fear of hypoglycaemia.

“They demonstrate that the use of the Freestyle Libre system can significantly improve the experiences of those living with type 1 diabetes, increasing awareness and understanding, aiding self- management of the condition and reducing pressure on the NHS in terms of the ongoing management and treatment of patients with diabetes.”

For those people with more than seven months of follow-up data, the following outcomes were observed:

  • A significant reduction in HbA1c from 67.5 mmol/mol (8.3%) to 62.3 mmol/mol (7.9%) (data for 3,182 people with diabetes- with an even greater reduction in those who had high HbA1c levels before they started using FreeStyle Libre. In addition, the more people engaged with the management of their diabetes, by using the technology and scanning more frequently, the greater the HbA1c reduction.
  • A significant improvement in patient’s awareness of impending hypoglycaemia measured by the Gold score (data for 2,801 patients). Over half of people (53%) with impaired hypoglycaemia awareness at the start of the audit had regained awareness at follow-up.
  • A reduction in patient reported hypoglycaemic events: 85% said that they were able to reduce the frequency of hypoglycaemia; 80% stated that they were able to reduce the amount of time in hypoglycaemia; and 75% reported a reduction in nocturnal hypoglycaemia.
  • A reduction in diabetes distress – feeling overwhelmed by the demands of living with diabetes and/or a feeling of failing with their diabetes routine (data for 2,532 people with diabetes).
  • A significant reduction in paramedic callouts and hospital admissions due to hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia / diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at seven and a half months follow-up, compared to 12 months before FreeStyle Libre use (data for over 1,900 people with diabetes).

The FreeStyle Libre system was made available on the NHS in 2017 to people with type 1 diabetes, who use insulin.

The advantages of the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system, compared with continuous glucose monitoring systems, include reduced costs, factory calibration which removes the need for frequent painful finger pricks to calibrate and the sensor can be worn for 14 days.

The study findings have been published in Diabetes Care. To read the research, click here.

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