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Artificial Pancreas Could Help Pregnant Diabetic Women

Study: Artificial Pancreas Makes Pregnancy Safer for Women With Type 1 Diabetes

Artificial Pancreas continued...

Previous studies have shown improved blood glucose control and reduced hypoglycemia with overnight use of an artificial pancreas in children with type 1 diabetes, but this is the first time it has been successfully used in pregnant women with the condition.

“For women with type 1 diabetes, self-management is particularly challenging during pregnancy due to physiological and hormonal changes. Previous studies indicate that pregnant women with the condition spend an average of ten hours a day with glucose levels outside the recommended target,” Murphy says in a statement.

“These high blood glucose levels increase the risk of congenital malformation, stillbirth, neonatal death, preterm delivery, macrosomia [oversized babies], and neonatal admission. So to discover an artificial pancreas can help maintain near-normal glucose levels in these women is very promising,” she says.

Early Days

Diabetes UK Director of Research Iain Frame, MD, says in a news release, “Although early days, this exciting area of research, funded by our donors, has huge potential to make pregnancy much safer for women with type 1 diabetes, and their babies.

“It’s a fantastic example of how existing technologies, in this case, insulin pumps and CGMs, can be adapted and developed to benefit as many people with diabetes as possible. We now need to see an extension of this study, one which tests larger numbers of women, and then take it out of the hospital and in to the home setting.”

If all goes well and funding is in place, Diabetes UK says the artificial pancreas for pregnant women could be available within five to 10 years.

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