Original research| Volume 8, ISSUE 4, P346-351, December 2014

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Risk factors for discontinuation of insulin pump therapy in pediatric and young adult patients

Published:April 15, 2014DOI:



      Previous studies have shown that only a small number of pediatric and young adult patients discontinue pump therapy, but risk factors for discontinuation are unclear.


      To identify characteristics of pediatric and young adult patients with pump therapy which are associated with discontinuation of treatment.

      Subjects and methods

      Retrospective cohort study using a representative nationwide database (LRx; IMS Health) in Germany covering >80% of all prescriptions to members of statutory health insurances in 2008–2011. All patients (age group <25 years) with new prescriptions of insulin pumps were identified (2009–2010) and were followed for 12 months.


      Overall, 2452 new pump users were identified, of whom 177 (7.2%) switched to other forms of insulin therapy within 12 months. In multivariate logistic regression, younger age (<6 years; reference 18 to <25 years: Odds ratio, OR, 95% CI: 0.36; 0.17–0.74) and use of teflon needles (reference steel needles: OR, 95% CI: 0.59; 0.41–0.83) were related to a lower odds of pump discontinuation. A non-significant trend was found for male sex (OR, 95% CI: 0.75; 0.52–1.08). Prescriptions of thyroid therapeutics (ATC H03A: OR, 95% CI: 1.79; 1.23–2.61) and antiepileptics (N03: OR, 95% CI: 3.14; 1.49–6.59) were significantly associated with discontinuation of pump therapy.


      About 93% of pediatric and young adult patients maintained insulin pump therapy within 12 months. Age <6 years, male sex and teflon needle use were associated with a lower risk of discontinuation. Thyroid therapy (indicating autoimmunity) and antiepileptic drug prescriptions were associated with a higher likelihood for discontinuation of insulin pump treatment.


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