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Diabet Med. 2002 Sep;19(9):746-51.

Less severe hypoglycaemia, better metabolic control, and improved quality of life in Type 1 diabetes mellitus with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) therapy; an observational study of 100 consecutive patients followed for a mean of 2 years.

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Department of Metabolic Diseases and Nutrition (WHO-Collaborating Centre for Diabetes), Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.



To compare glycaemic control, occurrence of acute complications, and diabetes-specific quality of life in Type 1 diabetic patients (on intensified conventional insulin treatment (ICT)) before and after initiation of CSII.


One hundred and three patients (58 women) started CSII between October 1995 and April 1999 in our department. The indication for CSII was optimization of metabolic control and improvement of flexibility of life style (OF group) in 60 patients (58%), and prevention of severe hypoglycaemia (HY group) in 43 patients. Mean age at initiation of CSII was 33 +/- 11 years (OF 33 +/- 10, HY 33 +/- 11 (mean +/- sd)), diabetes duration 18 +/- 9 years (OF 16 +/- 9, HY 20 +/- 9). Three patients stopped CSII, mean duration of CSII of the remaining 100 patients was 1.8 +/- 1.2 years. The occurrence of hypoglycaemia, ketoacidosis and skin abscesses was assessed retrospectively for the 12 months before starting CSII, and recorded continuously during CSII. Quality of life was assessed with a validated, diabetes-specific questionnaire before and after CSII in 50 patients.


The incidence of serious hypoglycaemia (any external help) was reduced from 1.23 (OF 0.0; HY 2.93) during ICT to 0.29 cases/patient per year (OF 0.09; HY 0.55) during CSII. The incidence of severe hypoglycaemia (SH) (treated with i.v. glucose or glucagon injection) fell from 0.70 (OF 0.0; SH 1.67) during ICT to 0.06 cases/patient per year (OF 0.02; HY 0.12) during CSII. HbA1c improved from 7.7 +/- 1.1% to 7.2 +/- 1.0% (P < 0.001) (OF 7.8% vs. 7.2%; HY 7.6% vs. 7.2%). During CSII the incidence of abscesses was 0.11 and of ketoacidosis 0.01 cases/patient per year. Quality of life assessments showed significant improvement in all parameters during CSII.


In our cohort of Type 1 diabetic patients, we observed a substantial decrease of hypoglycaemia along with a significant fall of HbA1c. Quality of life on CSII was improved when compared with ICT.

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