Chinese Diabetic Patients Have Poor Blood Glucose Monitoring Habits

By analyzing data from the ORBIT study, scientists have discovered that Chinese diabetic patients do not practice good self-monitoring of blood glucose.

AsianScientist (Sep. 29, 2017) – According to a study published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, diabetic patients in China do not adequately monitor their own blood glucose levels, with almost 20 percent bothering to monitor it at all.

Approximately one in ten individuals in China suffer from diabetes, making it a major health concern. Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) arises when the body becomes resistant to insulin, impairing a person’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels.

Patients with T2DM need frequent injections of insulin to control the amount of glucose in their blood, and self-monitoring is essential to ensure that normal blood sugar levels are maintained. HbA1c is a clinical measure of average blood glucose in the plasma of blood; HbA1c over 6.5 percent indicates diabetes.

In this study, researchers in China assessed self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) behavior among nearly 19,000 patients with T2DM treated with oral medications. They conducted a prospective analysis using data from the Observational Registry for Basal Insulin Treatment (ORBIT) study, comparing SMBG frequency, HbA1c control, and hypoglycemia rates among patients with HbA1c higher than 7 percent on oral diabetic agents at the initiation of the study. They collected follow-up measurements at three months and six months after the patients began using basal insulin.

The researchers reported very low SMBG rates both before and after the patients began treatment with basal insulin. The mean self-reported frequency of SMBG was less than ten times per month before initiation of insulin treatment. When patients started insulin treatment, both the mean SMBG frequency and the percentage of patients in the high SMBG frequency group increased. However, 16 percent to 18 percent of the patients still never monitored their blood glucose.

The study also confirmed that patients who performed SMBG more frequently tended to have lower HBA1c levels, underscoring the importance of good SMBG practice.

“Introduction of insulin is usually delayed in real-life in subjects with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. This study by Luo et al highlights the improvements achieved in glucose control by introduction of any basal insulin,” said Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics editor-in-chief Dr. Satish Garg who is also a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver (Aurora).

The article can be found at: Luo et al. (2017) Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Before and After Initiating Basal Insulin Treatment in China.


Source: Mary Ann Liebert Inc.; Photo: Shutterstock.
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