Metabolic control and complications in Italian people with diabetes treated with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion

Published:December 09, 2017DOI:


      • The study marks the largest Italian study on glucose control in CSII-treated people.
      • The median HbA1c level among all participants was 60.0 mmol/mol (7.6%).
      • Patient skills on sensor use are associated with lower HbA1c levels.
      • The frequency of severe hypoglycaemia and ketoacidosis episodes was very low.


      Background and aim

      The objective of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the degree of glycaemic control and the frequency of diabetic complications in Italian people with diabetes who were treated with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII).

      Methods and results

      Questionnaires investigating the organisation of diabetes care centres, individuals' clinical and metabolic features and pump technology and its management were sent to adult and paediatric diabetes centres that use CSII for treatment in Italy. Information on standard clinical variables, demographic data and acute and chronic diabetic complications was derived from local clinical management systems. The sample consisted of 6623 people with diabetes, which was obtained from 93 centres. Of them, 98.8% had type 1 diabetes mellitus, 57.2% were female, 64% used a conventional insulin pump and 36% used a sensor-augmented insulin pump. The median glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) level was 60 mmol/mol (7.6%). The HbA1c target (i.e. <58 mmol/mol for age <18 years and <53 mmol/mol for age >18 years) was achieved in 43.4% of paediatric and 23% of adult participants. Factors such as advanced pump functions, higher rate of sensor use, pregnancy in the year before the study and longer duration of diabetes were associated with lower HbA1c levels.
      The most common chronic complications occurring in diabetes were retinopathy, microalbuminuria and hypertension. In the year before the study, 5% of participants reported ≥1 episode of severe hypoglycaemic (SH) episodes (SH) and 2.6% reported ≥1 episode of ketoacidosis.


      Advanced personal skills and use of sensor-based pump are associated with better metabolic control outcomes in Italian people with diabetes who were treated with CSII. The reduction in SH episodes confirms the positive effect of CSII on hypoglycaemia.

      Clinical trial registration number

      NCT 02620917 (


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