Objective: To determine whether self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is associated with lower HbA1c in youth with type 2 diabetes taking oral medications only or after starting insulin for persistently elevated HbA1c.
Research design and methods: Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY) study participants (n = 699) taking oral medications were asked to perform SMBG twice daily. After reaching primary outcome (PO) (HbA1c ≥8% [64 mmol/mol]) over 6 months or an inability to wean from temporary insulin because of metabolic decompensation), insulin glargine was started. HbA1c and percent of SMBG (SMBG%) (percent days when the meter was used one or more times) before and after PO were analyzed.
Results: SMBG declined over time and was inversely related to HbA1c (P < 0.0001). Of 298 youth who reached PO and started insulin, 282 had SMBG data. At PO, mean ± SD age was 15.8 ± 2.3 years, BMI 35.5 ± 7.9 kg/m2, and HbA1c 9.6 ± 2.0% (81 ± 21.9 mmol/mol); 65.3% were female. Median SMBG% was 40% at PO, which increased to 49% after 6 months and fell to 41% after 1 year on insulin. At PO, 22% of youth checked ≥80% of days, which increased to 25% and fell to 19% after 6 and 12 months using insulin, respectively. At PO, compared with those who checked <80%, youth who checked ≥80% were younger and with a lower BMI, HbA1c, and blood pressure. SMBG ≥80% was associated with ≥1% reduction in HbA1c at 6 and 12 months after insulin initiation.
Conclusions: Low SMBG adherence was common and associated with higher HbA1c. Optimal SMBG frequency in youth using or not using insulin, and whether less frequent SMBG is a marker for overall worse self-care, require further study.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00081328.
© 2019 by the American Diabetes Association.