Heterogeneity of responses to real-time continuous glucose monitoring (RT-CGM) in patients with type 2 diabetes and its implications for application

Stephanie J Fonda, Sara J Salkind, M Susan Walker, Mary Chellappa, Nicole Ehrhardt, Robert A Vigersky
Diabetes Care 2013, 36 (4): 786-92

OBJECTIVE: To characterize glucose response patterns of people who wore a real-time continuous glucose monitor (RT-CGM) as an intervention to improve glycemic control. Participants had type 2 diabetes, were not taking prandial insulin, and interpreted the RT-CGM data independently.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Data were from the first 12 weeks of a 52-week, prospective, randomized trial comparing RT-CGM (n = 50) with self-monitoring of blood glucose (n = 50). RT-CGM was used in 8 of the first 12 weeks. A1C was collected at baseline and quarterly. This analysis included 45 participants who wore the RT-CGM ≥4 weeks. Analyses examined the RT-CGM data for common response patterns-a novel approach in this area of research. It then used multilevel models for longitudinal data, regression, and nonparametric methods to compare the patterns of A1C, mean glucose, glycemic variability, and views per day of the RT-CGM device.

RESULTS: There were five patterns. For four patterns, mean glucose was lower than expected as of the first RT-CGM cycle of use given participants' baseline A1C. We named them favorable response but with high and variable glucose (n = 7); tight control (n = 14); worsening glycemia (n = 6); and incremental improvement (n = 11). The fifth was no response (n = 7). A1C, mean glucose, glycemic variability, and views per day differed across patterns at baseline and longitudinally.

CONCLUSIONS: The patterns identified suggest that targeting people with higher starting A1Cs, using it short-term (e.g., 2 weeks), and monitoring for worsening glycemia that might be the result of burnout may be the best approach to using RT-CGM in people with type 2 diabetes not taking prandial insulin.

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