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FreeStyle Libre improves type 1 diabetes control says ABCD audit

By Editor
12th June 2019
Medical devices, Technology Type 1 diabetes

The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system improves control in people with type 1 diabetes during the first six months of use, according to a nationwide audit.

The first milestone results of 1,299 people with type 1 diabetes from the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) audit were presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Session, which has been running from June 7 to 11.

Dr Harshal Deshmukh, Clinical Lecturer in Endocrinology and Diabetes at the University of Hull, and Dr Emma Wilmot, Consultant Diabetologist at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, presented the findings at the congress held in San Fransisco.

Professor Thozhukat Sathyapalan, from Hull York Medical School, Dr Chris Walton, of Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and Dr Bob Ryder, from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust also made up the ABCD team.

The data compared the 12 months prior to starting FreeStyle Libre and the results of using ‘Flash’ after six months. Baseline data was collected from 4,709 people, with 1,299 people followed up.

Important benefits to people with diabetes were demonstrated by these results, both in lowering glucose levels in those with high levels before use of the device and a reduction of hypoglycaemic episodes, ABCD said.

Audit results

There was a significant improvement in diabetes control as measured by HbA1c particularly in those people with higher levels before use of FreeStyle Libre, according to the findings.
  • 79% reported that with use of FreeStyle Libre they were able to reduce the proportion of time in hypoglycaemia
  • 31% able to reduce the rate/frequency of hypoglycaemia
  • 39% had reduced nocturnal hypoglycaemia
Gold Score – measurement of awareness of blood sugar levels falling
There was a significant improvement in gold score, the results showed, with 9% people reported had reversal of hypoglycaemic unawareness.
Hospital admissions
Hospital admissions were reduced for:

  • hypoglycaemia (blood sugar too low)
  • hyperglycaemia (blood sugar too high)
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

These results were shown at six months and compared to the 12 months prior to starting FreeStyle Libre. One year follow up data is needed to confirm these very promising hospital resource utilisation findings.

Diabetes Distress Score
A significant improvement in diabetes-related emotional score was reported.

Neil Harris, General Manager UK & Ireland, Abbott’s Diabetes Care Division, said: “The results of the ABCD audit clearly evidence the positive impact that life changing technology can have for people with type 1 diabetes intensively using insulin. Not only this, but by making the FreeStyle Libre system more widely available through the NHS, an increased number of those with type 1 diabetes are more likely to successfully achieve glycaemic control and avoid diabetes related complications in the longer term.”

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