Blood sugar monitoring is useful in predicting blood sugar levels
Blood glucose monitoring is a measurement of glucose in the blood that can be done at any time on a portable machine. It can be a self-test for the diabetic. The finger is pricked and a drop of blood is put on a reagent strip, which uses a chemical substance to react to the amount of glucose in the blood. The meter then reads the strip and displays the results as a number on a digital display. The test allows the diabetic to carefully monitor blood glucose levels to assure that they are within the normal range. The individual can then respond quickly to high or low blood sugar levels (diabetes or hypoglycemia ) with appropriate intervention.
The average daily risk range, a measure computed from an individual's blood sugar readings, is useful in predicting both low and high blood sugar levels, according to a report in the journal Diabetes Care.
Maintaining well-controlled blood sugar levels is important, and there is a need for measures that accurately predict both high and low levels, the authors note.
Dr. Boris P. Kovatchev, from the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, and colleagues created the average daily risk range after analyzing blood sugar data from 39 type 1 and 31 type 2 diabetics.
In their study, the team gives the formulas for computing the average daily risk range from 2 to 4 weeks of self-monitored blood sugar data, with readings obtained at least 3 times daily.
The average daily risk range was then tested in a group of 254 type 1 and 81 type 2 diabetics. In this group, the average daily risk range and standard predictive measures, such as the daily blood glucose range, were tested for their ability to predict blood glucose variability in the next 3 months.
The authors found that the average daily risk range was better than the other measures in predicting both high and low blood sugar levels.
Across the average daily risk range risk categories (low, moderate, and high), the likelihood of low and high blood sugar levels rose by 6-fold and 3.5-fold, respectively.
"As a measure of (blood sugar) variability that could be calculated frequently and tracked over time, the average daily risk range" may provide useful information to patients and their physicians, the authors state.
Additional research is needed to determine if average daily risk range determination and feedback actually translates into improved control of blood sugar levels, they add.