Positioning time in range in diabetes management

Diabetologia. 2020 Feb;63(2):242-252. doi: 10.1007/s00125-019-05027-0. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Abstract

Recent upswings in the use of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technologies have given people with diabetes and healthcare professionals unprecedented access to a range of new indicators of glucose control. Some of these metrics are useful research tools and others have been welcomed by patient groups for providing insights into the quality of glucose control not captured by conventional laboratory testing. Among the latter, time in range (TIR) is an intuitive metric that denotes the proportion of time that a person's glucose level is within a desired target range (usually 3.9-10.0 mmol/l [3.5-7.8 mmol/l in pregnancy]). For individuals choosing to use CGM technology, TIR is now often part of the expected conversation between patient and healthcare professional, and consensus recommendations have recently been produced to facilitate the adoption of standardised TIR targets. At a regulatory level, emerging evidence linking TIR to risk of complications may see TIR being more widely accepted as a valid endpoint in future clinical trials. However, given the skewed distribution of possible glucose values outside of the target range, TIR (on its own) is a poor indicator of the frequency or severity of hypoglycaemia. Here, the state-of-the-art linking TIR with complications risk in diabetes and the inverse association between TIR and HbA1c are reviewed. Moreover, the importance of including the amount and severity of time below range (TBR) in any discussions around TIR and, by inference, time above range (TAR) is discussed. This review also summarises recent guidance in setting 'time in ranges' goals for individuals with diabetes who wish to make use of these metrics. For most people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a TIR >70%, a TBR <3.9 mmol/l of <4%, and a TBR <3.0 mmol/l of <1% are recommended targets, with less stringent targets for older or high-risk individuals and for those under 25 years of age. As always though, glycaemic targets should be individualised and rarely is that more applicable than in the personal use of CGM and the data it provides.

Keywords: CGM; Diabetes complications; HbA1c; Hyperglycaemia; Hypoglycaemia; Review; Time below range; Time in range.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / methods*
  • Diabetes Complications / blood
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents

Grant support