OBJECTIVE

The RELIEF study assessed rates of hospitalization for acute diabetes complications in France before and after initiation of the FreeStyle Libre system.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

A total of 74,011 patients with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes who initiated the FreeStyle Libre system were identified from the French national claims database with use of ICD-10 codes, from hospitalizations with diabetes as a contributing diagnosis, or the prescription of insulin. Patients were subclassified based on self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) strip acquisition prior to starting FreeStyle Libre. Hospitalizations for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), severe hypoglycemia, diabetes-related coma, and hyperglycemia were recorded for the 12 months before and after initiation.

RESULTS

Hospitalizations for acute diabetes complications fell in type 1 diabetes (−49.0%) and in type 2 diabetes (−39.4%) following FreeStyle Libre initiation. DKA fell in type 1 diabetes (−56.2%) and in type 2 diabetes (−52.1%), as did diabetes-related comas in type 1 diabetes (−39.6%) and in type 2 diabetes (−31.9%). Hospitalizations for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia decreased in type 2 diabetes (−10.8% and −26.5%, respectively). Before initiation, hospitalizations were most marked for people noncompliant with SMBG and for those with highest acquisition of SMBG, which fell by 54.0% and 51.2%, respectively, following FreeStyle Libre initiation. Persistence with FreeStyle Libre at 12 months was at 98.1%.

CONCLUSIONS

This large retrospective study on hospitalizations for acute diabetes complications shows that a significantly lower incidence of admissions for DKA and for diabetes-related coma is associated with use of flash glucose monitoring. This study has significant implications for patient-centered diabetes care and potentially for long-term health economic outcomes.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.14143874.

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