According to the CDC, of the roughly 34 million Americans living with diabetes, up to 95% of them are living with type 2 diabetes. Certain groups, such as Hispanic or Latino-Americans, are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, underscoring the need to learn about and find new ways to treat such a pervasive health condition.
A study conducted by researchers at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) and Rice University have found that the use of continuous glucose monitors can provide important insight into how type 2 diabetes progresses, specifically in Hispanic populations.
Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are small devices that constantly monitor glucose levels. Instead of testing your glucose at a certain point in time, the continuous data provided by a CGM allows you to see the full picture of how your glucose levels change throughout the day. They are usually attached to the skin, allowing them to take regular blood sugar readings.
"The fresh look at the glucose data sheds new light on disease progression, which could have a direct impact on better management," said Rice study co-author Ashutosh Sabharwal, professor and department chair in electrical and computer engineering and founder of Rice's Scalable Health Labs.
This research study contributed to an existing initiative at SDRI, called Farming for Life, a program designed to understand the connection between using food as “prescription medicine” and the health of underserved communities, such as Hispanic-Americans. According to the Initiative's website, their goal is “to remove the burden of diabetes by providing medical prescriptions of vegetables to both prevent diabetes and positively impact those already living with the condition.”
Researchers are hopeful that this study is just one important contribution that precise digital health technologies can have on reducing health disparities and improving the management and treatment of diseases like diabetes.
"The results also provided new insights into measurable differences in the glucose profiles for individuals at risk of as well as with noninsulin-treated Type 2 diabetes. These findings could facilitate novel therapeutic approaches to reduce the risk of progression of Type 2 diabetes for this underserved population,” said study co-author David Kerr.
Source: Science Daily