Indexed on: 13 Nov '09Published on: 13 Nov '09Published in: Diabetes care
Results from landmark diabetes studies have established A1C as the gold standard for assessing long-term glycemic control. However, A1C does not provide "real-time" information about individual hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic excursions. Real-time information provided by self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) represents an important adjunct to A1C, because it can differentiate fasting, preprandial, and postprandial hyperglycemia; detect glycemic excursions; identify hypoglycemia; and provide immediate feedback about the effect of food choices, physical activity, and medication on glycemic control. The importance of SMBG is widely appreciated and recommended as a core component of management in patients with type 1 or insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, as well as in diabetic pregnancy, for both women with pregestational type 1 and gestational diabetes. Nevertheless, SMBG in management of non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetic patients continues to be debated. Results from clinical trials are inconclusive, and reviews fail to reach an agreement, mainly because of methodological problems. Carefully designed large-scale studies on diverse patient populations with type 2 diabetes with the follow-up period to investigate long-term effects of SMBG in patients with type 2 diabetes should be carried out to clarify how to make the best use of SMBG, in which patients, and under what conditions.