Adults with type 2 diabetes who frequently monitored blood glucose and reported their results to a health care provider online were more likely to have a lower HbA1c than patients who frequently tested but did not report results, according to an analysis of patient data.
In a retrospective study, researchers analyzed data from 191 patients with type 2 diabetes taking only oral antihyperglycemic medications and using an Internet-based glucose monitoring reporting system. Patients were instructed to test their blood glucose before each meal and report back every 2 weeks, either through online meter software, a spreadsheet or an online platform viewable by the health care provider. Self-monitored blood glucose frequency was defined as the average number of tests taken per day as calculated by each patient’s most recent report to their health care provider. Reporting frequency was defined as the average number of reports per 3 months and during the most recent 6-month period. Researchers collected HbA1c data, averaged during the same 6-month period for each patient and used as the response variable.
In multiple regression analysis using age, weight, frequency of testing and frequency of reporting as parameters, researchers found that frequent testing was not associated with HbA1c (P = .158); however, frequent reporting had an inverse correlation with HbA1c (P < .05).
Researchers also separated patients into infrequent and frequent SMBG groups, defined as those who test on average no more than once per day or who test at least twice per day. In this subgroup analysis, the frequent monitoring group (n = 118) showed lower HbA1c in frequent reporters when compared with infrequent reporters (7.9% to 7.4%; P < .05). This trend was not observed in the infrequent monitoring group (n = 73; P = .161).
“Without timely feedback from their health care provider, type 2 (diabetes) patients may not be equipped to make meaningful use of the information gained by testing their blood sugars at a high frequency,” the researchers wrote. “As an established method for bridging the gap between clinic visits and ultimately reducing patient HbA1c, a higher frequency of reporting using the Internet Blood Glucose Monitoring System (IBGMS) was shown to correlate with a lower HbA1c in non-insulin-dependent patients with type 2 diabetes.” – by Regina Schaffer
The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.