Background: Insulin pump therapy (IPT) is increasingly used in children and young people with type 1 diabetes. There are limited studies evaluating the optimal time to start IPT.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if early initiation of IPT in children with type 1 diabetes leads to improved glycaemic control and quality of life (QOL) compared with the later introduction of IPT.
Subjects: There were 38 subjects in the early pump group (EPG) (age 12.6 + 4.9 yr, 23 male) and 37 in the later pump group (LPG) (age 13.1 + 4.1 yr, 19 male).
Methods: Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), rate of severe hypoglycemia, and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) were collected retrospectively over a 48-month period. Eligible subjects and/or their parents completed both a Paediatric and Paediatric Diabetes-specific Quality of Life Inventory.
Results: HbA1c measurements were lower in the EPG (6.8%; 51 mmol/mol) compared to the LPG (7.9%; 63 mmol/mol), across the 48 months of the study (p < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the rate (per patient years) of severe hypoglycaemia (0.02; 0.07) p = 0.075 between the two groups. There were no episodes of DKA in either group. There was no significant difference in QOL between the groups with both having high satisfaction rates.
Conclusions: Initiation of IPT at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children resulted in consistently lower HbA1c with no apparent change in hypoglycemia, DKA, or QOL.