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Researchers from the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) and the University of Manitoba (U of M) have been awarded $75,000 to investigate the efficacy of Manitoba’s insulin pump program for children with Type 1 Diabetes mellitus (TIDM), working in collaboration with partners in Quebec. Dr. Celia Rodd, a research scientist at CHRIM and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the U of M, and her team received the funding this week as part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) competition.
TIDM is a chronic disease in children, for which daily insulin injections are required. Long-term TIDM can lead to health complications including heart disease, amputations, kidney failure, and death. Canada has one of the highest rates of TIDM in the world.
Children with TIDM are required to administer insulin two, three, four, or more times per day via pens or syringes. Over the past few decades, treatment has been transformed by the development of insulin pumps (CSII), which deliver small increments of insulin in a minute-to-minute manner via a catheter under the skin. Early studies in some jurisdictions have shown improved outcomes, such as long-term blood sugar control. Pumps may allow better control of diabetes, but are expensive and require intensive training and clinical support.
Although most provinces in Canada have established insulin pump programs to provide families with financial support and training, only Ontario has assessed its pump program and found that children from economically disadvantaged homes have had less success.
Manitoba’s pump program started in 2012, and Quebec’s in 2011. Dr. Rodd and her team will work in collaboration with researchers in Quebec to assess which families are obtaining insulin pumps, what the control is, and if children using the pump have a different rate of hospitalizations. Since Quebec has a more comprehensive plan to financially support families, the team will also compare these outcomes across both provinces. The findings will be shared across the country with the aim to optimize outcomes for children with TIDM across Canada.
“The IHDCYH award announced this week will allow us to investigate how effective Manitoba’s insulin pump program is among different demographics and compare to other provinces,” said Dr. Rodd. “Ultimately, we hope this research will improve the lives of children with TIDM and their families as we design and customize treatment options.”
The research is one of 25 funded projects that will use existing data and biospecimens to answer novel research questions and test innovative hypotheses that have the potential to improve reproductive, maternal and child health outcomes. In total, IHDCYH will invest $1.85 million across the country. Three of the 25 funded projects are led by CHRIM and U of M researchers.