Background: For individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in East Africa and other low-income regions, the last decade has seen substantial gains in access to insulin and trained healthcare providers, yet metabolic control remains poor. Methods: The objective was to determine the feasibility of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and to gather baseline metabolic data for future power analysis in Ugandan and Kenyan youth with T1D using a Freestyle Libre Pro blinded CGM. Results: Of 78 participants recruited, four sensors fell off and six patients did not return, leaving 68 evaluable subjects. Average age was 16 ± 5 (range 4-26) years, 43% female. Average diabetes duration was 7 ± 5 years, insulin dose 0.9 ± 0.3 U/kg/d, and number of fingerstick glucose levels per day 2.1 ± 1.1. All were on human insulin. Point-of-care HbA1c was 10.9 ± 2.7% (96 ± 30 mmol/mol). Mean number of sensor days was 13 ± 3; >90% wore the sensor for ≥10 days. Mean glucose was 231 ± 86 mg/dL (12.8 ± 4.8 mmol/L). Only 30 ± 19% of time was spent in the target range (70-180 mg/dL; 3.9-10 mmol/L), and 7 ± 8% of time was spent in hypoglycaemia (glucose <55 mg/dL, 3.0 mmol/L). Hypoglycaemia occurred in 81% of participants, averaging five events/wk with an average duration of 140 ± 79 minutes/event. Conclusions: Despite significant diabetes care improvements, East African youth with T1D have poor metabolic control with chronic hyper- and hypoglycaemia, placing them at high risk for serious acute and chronic complications. This study demonstrates the feasibility of CGM use in this population and provides baseline metabolic data that will be used to inform a future intervention study.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Abbott Diabetes Care, Alameda, California, donated FreeStyle Libre Pro flash glucose monitoring systems for this study.
© 2020 The Authors. Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- continuous glucose monitoring
- healthcare disparity
- low resource nations
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article