Effectiveness of advanced carbohydrate counting in type 1 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 14;6:37067. doi: 10.1038/srep37067.


Potential benefits of carbohydrate counting for glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) remain inconclusive. Our aim is to systematically assess the efficacy of carbohydrate counting in patients with T1DM. We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and the Chinese Biology Medicine (CBM) up to December 2015. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with at least 3 months follow-up that evaluated carbohydrate counting compared with usual or other diabetes dietary education in patients with T1DM were included. Overall meta-analysis identified a significant decrease in HbA1c concentration with carbohydrate counting versus other diabetes diet method or usual diabetes dietary education (SMD: -0.35, 95%CI: -0.65 to -0.05, P = 0.023). Subgroup analysis restricted to trials which compared carbohydrate counting with usual diabetes dietary found a significant decrease in HbA1c in carbohydrate counting group (SMD: -0.68, 95%CI: -0.98 to -0.38, P = 0.000), and a similar result has emerged from six studies in adults (SMD: -0.40, 95%CI: -0.78 to -0.02, P = 0.037). Carbohydrate counting may confer positive impact on glucose control. Larger clinical trials are warranted to validate this positive impact.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diet therapy*
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic