Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

For diabetics not on insulin, self-monitoring blood sugar has no benefit, study suggests

Date:
January 27, 2012
Source:
Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health
Summary:
For type 2 diabetics who are not on insulin, monitoring their blood sugar does little to control blood sugar levels over time and may not be worth the effort or expense, according to a new evidence review.

For type 2 diabetics who are not on insulin, monitoring their blood sugar does little to control blood sugar levels over time and may not be worth the effort or expense, according to a new evidence review.

Self-monitoring blood sugar levels for type 1 diabetics and type 2 diabetics who require insulin is recognized as a critical part of self-care. For these insulin taking diabetics, keeping track of blood sugar levels helps them attempt to keep glucose levels within an acceptable range. However, it has been unclear if self-monitoring of blood sugar has the same value for type 2 diabetics who are not on insulin.

To answer this question, Uriλll L. Malanda of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam and his colleagues reviewed 12 studies, of more than 3,000 non-insulin-using diabetics. The review showed that self-monitoring of blood sugar by these patients had only a modest effect on a measure called HbA1c, a standard for assessing blood glucose control. Over a six-month period, patients who tested their own blood glucose levels reduced HbA1c by about 0.3 percent. This effect nearly completely dissipated after 12 months.

Additionally, the review showed that blood sugar self-monitoring had no effect on patients’ satisfaction, general well being, or general health-related quality of life. One study, which compared the cost of the first year of monitoring blood for glucose versus urine testing, found that monitoring blood glucose was 12 times more expensive.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collection, an international organization that evaluates medical research.

Mayer Davidson, M.D., a professor of medicine at Charles Drew University in Los Angeles who authored one of the studies included in the review, notes that many endocrinologists recommend blood glucose self-monitoring as part of efforts to educate patients on the effect of lifestyle habits—for example, how eating an apple affects their blood glucose compared to drinking a glass of apple juice. However, knowing their blood sugar numbers doesn’t appear to change patients’ behavior.

“Patients aren’t using these numbers to do anything clinically significant,” he says.

With the cost of blood glucose test strips for home monitoring equipment hovering around 1 dollar apiece, he adds, there doesn’t appear to be enough “bang for the buck” to recommend that form of self-monitoring for most patients.

Authors of the review agree. “Regular self-monitoring of blood glucose in non-insulin treated patients has minimal impact on glycemic control, has no impact on general well-being or quality of life, and is rather expensive. Consequently, it does not add to a clinically relevant long-term benefit,” Malanda says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Malanda, U.L., et al. Self-monitoring of blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are not using insulin. The Cochrane Library, 2012

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health. "For diabetics not on insulin, self-monitoring blood sugar has no benefit, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120127162420.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health. (2012, January 27). For diabetics not on insulin, self-monitoring blood sugar has no benefit, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120127162420.htm
Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health. "For diabetics not on insulin, self-monitoring blood sugar has no benefit, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120127162420.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins