Background: The management of diabetes in preschool children poses unique difficulties for both the families and the medical team.
Objective: To test the feasibility and safety of insulin pump therapy in the 1–6 year age group in order to improve quality of life and metabolic control.
Methods: The study group comprised 15 type 1 diabetic children aged 1–6 years old (mean ± SD, 3.8 ± 1.2 years) from three diabetes centers. Insulin pump therapy was applied for 12 months. Data, including insulin dose, hemoglobin A1c, hypoglycemic events, as well as scores on the Diabetes Quality of Life Measure Questionnaire and the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire, were collected and compared with the multiple daily injections treatment prior to entry into the study.
Results: HbA1c was measured at the beginning of the study and at 2, 4, 8 and 12 months later; the respective levels (mean ± SD) were 8.82 ± 0.98, 8.45 ± 1.05, 8.37 ± 0.85, 8.32 ± 0.71, 8.18 ± 0.90%. HbA1c measurements after 12 months were significantly lower than at the beginning of the study (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in insulin dose and the total number of hypoglycemic events. In both the DQOL and DTSQ scales there were significant differences in scores in favor of the insulin pump period (43.7 ± 8.0 versus 33.7 ± 7.9, P < 0.001; and 10.9 ± 2.3 versus 14.5 ± 2.3, P < 0.001), respectively.
Conclusions: For very young diabetic children, insulin pump therapy improves quality of life and is feasible and safe. It should be considered as an optional mode of therapy for this age group.