Diabetes technologies work, but does everyone have a fair chance?

Original Article: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/19322968231183985

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are now commonly used by adults and children with type 1 diabetes and recently by people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin. The benefits from CGMs are well-established including improved glucose levels, fewer highs and lows in glucose levels and less risk from hypoglycemia. However, the cost can be significant especially if an individual does not have health insurance.

Diabetes technologies and racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities

A new study has looked at how CGMs are used among children with type 1 diabetes  comparing various ethnic groups and their socioeconomic status, including whether or not they had health insurance. Using health record data, researchers examined CGM use in a large number of children and young people (aged 2 to 25 years) from Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

What did the researchers find?

Compared to children and young people with T1D who had private health insurance, those with public insurance were slower to start CGM and used this technology less often.This was especially common among Hispanic and Black children compared to their White counterparts.

Why is this important?

Diverse and vulnerable populations with T1D that experience barriers to obtaining a CGM are at increased risk of worse outcomes given the known benefits of CGM. New strategies are needed to ensure equitable access to CGM and other diabetes technologies as a priority.