Home glucose monitoring fails to improve control of type 2 diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes not treated with insulin were unable to improve glycemic control after a year by self-monitoring blood glucose levels, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Self-monitoring may allow patients feel more engaged in their care, but results show such actions do not translate to improved control of diabetes. This study evaluated three separate approaches to self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) to evaluate effectiveness. Led by Katrina E. Donahue, MD, MPH, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the study included enrolled 418 participants from 15 primary care physicians with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.

Participants were assigned into three groups. One did not participate in SMBG, another performed SMBG once daily and a third performed SMBG once a day and received feedback messages through the glucose monitors. Results measured hemoglobin A1c levels in all groups as well as quality of life after one year.

Overall, patients in all groups showed no improvements in glycemic control or quality of life.

“In patients with non–insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, we observed no clinically or statistically significant differences at 1 year in glycemic control or health-related quality of life between patients who performed SMBG compared with those who did not perform SMBG,” concluded Donahue and colleagues. “The addition of this type of tailored feedback provided through messaging via a meter did not provide any advantage in glycemic control.”