Blood sugar self-monitoring in non-insulin treated type 2 diabetes doesn’t improve control

Trial shows no benefits to glycaemic control or health-related quality of life in patients who self-monitor glucose levels.

Blood glucose monitor

It has been debated whether self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) levels has any value in improving glycaemic control for patients with type 2 diabetes not requiring insulin. Despite this, more than 75% of these patients report doing so regularly.

In a year-long study published in JAMA Internal Medicine
(online, 10 June 2017), researchers assigned 450 patients with non-insulin treated diabetes across 15 primary care practices to either once-daily SMBG, once-daily SMBG with tailored feedback via messaging or no SMBG at all.

At the end of the study, the researchers found no significant differences in HbA1c levels, a marker of recent glycaemic control, across the groups. There were also no differences in health-related quality of life.

The researchers say that SMBG should not be routine for patients with non-insulin treated type 2 diabetes and that clinicians should consider it on a case-by-case basis for individual patients.


[1] Young L, Buse J, Weaver M et al. Glucose self-monitoring in non–insulin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes in primary care settings. JAMA Intern Med 2017. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1233

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP June 2017 online;9(6):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203053

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