To determine the benefit of starting continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in adult-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) with regard to longer-term glucose control and serious clinical events.


A retrospective observational cohort study within the Veterans Affairs Health Care System was used to compare glucose control and hypoglycemia- or hyperglycemia-related admission to an emergency room or hospital and all-cause hospitalization between propensity score overlap weighted initiators of CGM and nonusers over 12 months.


CGM users receiving insulin (n = 5,015 with T1D and n = 15,706 with T2D) and similar numbers of nonusers were identified from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2020. Declines in HbA1c were significantly greater in CGM users with T1D (−0.26%; 95% CI −0.33, −0.19%) and T2D (−0.35%; 95% CI −0.40, −0.31%) than in nonusers at 12 months. Percentages of patients achieving HbA1c <8 and <9% after 12 months were greater in CGM users. In T1D, CGM initiation was associated with significantly reduced risk of hypoglycemia (hazard ratio [HR] 0.69; 95% CI 0.48, 0.98) and all-cause hospitalization (HR 0.75; 95% CI 0.63, 0.90). In patients with T2D, there was a reduction in risk of hyperglycemia in CGM users (HR 0.87; 95% CI 0.77, 0.99) and all-cause hospitalization (HR 0.89; 95% CI 0.83, 0.97). Several subgroups (based on baseline age, HbA1c, hypoglycemic risk, or follow-up CGM use) had even greater responses.


In a large national cohort, initiation of CGM was associated with sustained improvement in HbA1c in patients with later-onset T1D and patients with T2D using insulin. This was accompanied by a clear pattern of reduced risk of admission to an emergency room or hospital for hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia and of all-cause hospitalization.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21960560.

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