Optimal sampling intervals to assess long-term glycemic control using continuous glucose monitoring

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2011 Mar;13(3):351-8. doi: 10.1089/dia.2010.0156. Epub 2011 Feb 7.


Aims and hypothesis: The optimal duration and frequency of short-term continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to reflect long-term glycemia have not been determined. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation CGM randomized trials provided a large dataset of longitudinal CGM data for this type of analysis.

Methods: The analysis included 185 subjects who had 334 3-month intervals of CGM data meeting specific criteria. For various glucose indices, correlations (r²) were computed for the entire 3-month interval versus selected sampling periods ranging from 3 to 15 days. Other computed agreement measures included median relative absolute difference, values within ± 10% and ± 20% of full value, and median absolute difference.

Results: As would be expected, the more days of glucose data that were sampled, the higher the correlation with the full 3 months of data. For 3 days of sampling, the r² value ranged from 0.32 to 0.47, evaluating mean glucose, percentage of values 71-180 mg/dL, percentage of values > 180 mg/dL, percentage of values ≤ 70 mg/dL, and coefficient of variation; in contrast, for 15 days of sampling, the r² values ranged from 0.66 to 0.75. The results were similar when the analysis intervals were stratified by age group (8-14, 15-24, and ≥ 25 years), by baseline hemoglobin A1c level (< 7.0% and ≥ 7.0%), and by CGM device type.

Conclusions and interpretation: Our data suggest that a 12-15-day period of monitoring every 3 months may be needed to optimally assess overall glucose control. Shorter periods of sampling can be useful, but the correlation with 3-month measures of glycemic control is lower.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00406133.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / methods*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / standards
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00406133