By Saumya Joseph

(Reuters) – (The June 8 story corrects first paragraph to clarify that the study compared patients with type 2 diabetes before and after using Abbott’s device; In paragraph 4, clarifies that the patients used insulin injections every day over an average of more than 8 years.)

Insulin-dependent patients with type 2 diabetes saw a significant drop in their blood sugar levels after wearing Abbott Laboratories Inc’s continuous glucose monitoring system for three months compared with when they were not using the device, researchers said on Saturday.

The study, which was presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Francisco, assessed the medical records of 363 type 2 diabetics in France, Germany and Austria between three and six months.

Dr. Helene Hanaire of the University Hospital Center of Toulouse, France, one of the study authors, said having ready access to their blood glucose readings helped diabetics become more engaged with controlling their glucose levels.

Patients in the study, whose average age was 63, used multiple insulin injections every day over an average of more than eight years.

An analysis of patient records found that patients who used Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre – a device worn on the body that monitors blood sugar continuously through a sensor under the skin – helped patients reduce hemoglobin A1c by nearly 1%.

Hemoglobin A1c levels is a measure of a person’s average blood sugar for three months and indicates the risk for developing long-term complications from diabetes.

Patients who used the device for at least three months saw their A1c levels drop to an average of 8%, from the previous level of 8.9%, when they did not use the device. However, this was still above the American Diabetes Association’s recommended target of 7%.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and many patients can keep their blood sugar within the recommended range with oral medications and do not need insulin. However, those on insulin require regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.

Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre, which can be worn for up to 14 days, reduces the need for the traditional fingerstick testing.

(Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)