A large scale review of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) reveals that newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes, who are not on insulin, are achieving significantly better HbA1c values if they have access to blood glucose testing supplies.
The less positive news is that the study showed HbA1c improvement to not continue bringing significant benefits for periods over a year, and this is the message that has been conveyed to health professionals through the media.
The Cochrane review is a review of previously run studies, across a number of different countries, which have analysed self monitoring and its effect on HbA1c levels. People with type 2 diabetes have previously noted the various limitations of the studies included in the review. Studies, included in the Cochrane review, have notably excluded participants who had previously demonstrated interest in self monitoring.
Editor of leading diabetes community website Diabetes.co.uk, Benedict Jephcote states: “There are a number of problems with the way results are presented within the Cochrane review. For instance, in the UK, there are many people with type 2 diabetes that are actively interested in self-testing and significant numbers of these people have to buy test strips from their own income. Studies which exclude these people cannot therefore give a fair representation of people with type 2 diabetes in the UK.”

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