Study: Regular blood glucose monitoring increases medication adherence

MILPITAS, Calif. — Blood glucose monitoring is associated with reduced A1C levels and greater adherence to medication in Type 2 diabetes patients who do not take insulin, according to a study published in the September issue of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.

The preliminary study findings were based on a retrospective analysis of health insurance data and was led by Lifescan's Naunihal Virdi. The results are based on an analysis of 4.5 years of data gathered from 5,172 patients with Type 2 diabetes who were newly treated with noninsulin diabetes medication. Patients who tested their blood glucose showed a greater overall decrease in A1C than those not testing (-1.4 vs. -0.6 A1C percentage points respectively). Overall, higher blood glucose testing frequency was associated with greater decreases in A1C levels. Patients who tested at least once per day had the greatest reductions in A1C levels compared with patients who tested less frequently, or not at all.

This study also found that patients who tested their blood glucose were more likely to take their diabetes medication as prescribed than patients who didn’t test (49.9% vs. 38.2%, respectively). Again, testing frequency was a factor, with 64.1% of patients who tested at least once a day being adherent to their medications compared to less than 50% of those testing less frequently.

“Good glycemic control is key to reducing complications in patients with diabetes,” Virdi said. “For Type 2 patients who don’t take insulin, this study adds to the growing body of evidence that regular self-monitoring of blood sugar may contribute to improved diabetes control, as well as improved compliance in taking medications as prescribed.”

The study findings were based on a retrospective analysis of health insurance data and are considered by the authors as preliminary to other studies that may confirm these findings via a prospective clinical trial. To view the abstract of the study, click here

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