Glucose Self-Monitoring Doesn't Improve HbA1c

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The researchers found no differences between the groups in how well their blood glucose levels were controlled or in their quality of life.
The researchers found no differences between the groups in how well their blood glucose levels were controlled or in their quality of life.

(HealthDay News) — For most patients with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, routine self-monitoring of blood glucose does not significantly improve hemoglobin A1c levels or health-related quality of life, according to a study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, held from June 9 to 13 in San Diego.

Laura Young, MD, PhD, from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, and colleagues randomly assigned 450 patients with type 2 diabetes who weren't taking insulin to monitor their blood glucose levels once a day with a typical glucometer, once a day with a monitor that gave them a feedback message, or to not monitor blood glucose levels at all. The participants in the study were from 15 primary care practices in North Carolina. Their average age was 61, and they'd had diabetes for an average of 8 years.

After a year, the researchers found no differences between the groups in how well their blood glucose levels were controlled or in their quality of life. The team also found no notable differences in hypoglycemia frequency, health care utilization, or insulin initiation.

"Patients and clinicians should consider the specifics of each clinical situation as they decide whether to test or not to test," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Reference

  1. Young LA, Buse JB, Weaver MA, et al. Glucose Self-monitoring in Non-Insulin-Treated Patients With Type 2 Diabetes in Primary Care Settings: A Randomized Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 10 June 2017. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1233
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