This study is now complete
Type 1 diabetes is becoming more common and so it is crucial that we understand how best to help pregnant women who have the disease. It can be hard to manage type 1 diabetes in pregnancy – blood glucose levels can be erratic and there can be severe consequences for both mother and baby if diabetes is poorly controlled.
Around 1 in 2 babies have complications that are linked to their mother having high glucose levels during pregnancy, with 50% being born too large, 40% being delivered prematurely and 40% being admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
We recently completed this CONCEPTT study, which looked at whether the use of continuous glucose monitors could improve glucose control and infant outcomes in women with type 1 diabetes who were pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
What are continuous glucose monitors?
Continuous glucose monitors give women real-time information about their blood glucose levels, allowing them to make more informed choices about the amount of insulin they need.
Comparing it with other methods
This international study included 325 women from 31 hospitals – the women used either continuous glucose monitoring or standard home glucose monitoring.
We found that blood glucose levels were within a healthy range considerably more often – approximately 100 minutes a day – when women used a continuous glucose monitor instead of a standard home monitor.
This seems to have had a positive effect on infant outcomes, as fewer babies born to this group of women were large for their gestational age or needed to be admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for more than 24 hours.
NICE are reviewing their guidelines after this trial
These results are important as they show that continuous glucose monitoring helps pregnant women control their type 1 diabetes and so improve outcomes for their babies. As a result, NICE are formally reviewing their guidelines for the use of continuous glucose monitors in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, meaning that our study could have national implications.