Diabetes: the role of continuous glucose monitoring

Julianna Rivich Kluemper, Alexandria Smith, Brooke Wobeter


Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition affecting 1 out of every 11 people worldwide. Monitoring of blood glucose allows for therapeutic lifestyle and pharmacotherapy changes to reduce the occurrence of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia. Advancements in technology over the past two decades have increased patient and clinician access to glucose data and trends with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. This narrative review seeks to investigate the efficacy and safety of CGM for the management of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes, efficacy studies of real-time CGM (rtCGM) or intermittently scanned CGM (isCGM) have shown a decrease in HbA1C (0.3–0.6%) over traditional self-monitoring blood glucose. Percent time in the target glucose range also improved (6.8–17.6%). Rates of hypoglycaemia, including severe hypoglycaemia, decreased in studies of rtCGM and isCGM with most available data in T1DM. In pregnant women with T1DM, rtCGM has shown modest improvements in HbA1C and time in target glucose range and decreased risk of neonatal complications. Multiple studies have shown that the use of rtCGM or isCGM increased diabetes treatment satisfaction amongst patients. Head-to-head studies of rtCGM and isCGM are limited but one study indicates that a CGM system with alarms may be preferred in T1DM to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia. Selection of a CGM device should depend on patient-specific factors and insurance coverage. The results of one study show that the benefits of CGM device use were not sustained after discontinuing use. Increasing widespread and long-term access to CGM devices is necessary to improve the management of diabetes amongst the greater population.

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Kluemper JR, Smith A, Wobeter B. Diabetes: the role of continuous glucose monitoring. Drugs Context. 2022;11:2021-9-13. https://doi.org/10.7573/dic.2021-9-13

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