A recent study has revealed that about 14 percent of the sample of individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes are needlessly checking their blood sugar levels at home.
The number becomes crucial when the cost of test strips and the need for a judicious use of services is considered.
For the current study, reported in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers examined data on more than 370,000 people with type 2 diabetes.
Reuters reported that almost 88,000 (23 percent), had at least three insurance claims for test strips used to check blood sugar at home.
According to lead study author Dr Kevin Platt of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor,
"Many type 2 diabetes patients not using insulin or other medications at risk of rapid changes in blood sugar levels are testing far more often then they need to be."
“This needless behavior causes unnecessary pokes, worry, and costs,” Platt said by email. “More is not always better when it comes to medical care.”
Insulin usage affects blood sugar and thus requires regular testing. However, many patients do not require insulin, and can work with just oral medications, that do not have any such impact on blood sugar levels.
Among people in the study who appeared to be needlessly testing blood sugar at home, 33,000 were on medications that are not to known to cause any major fluctuations in blood sugar and another 19,000 were not taking any diabetes medicines at all.
People performing these unnecessary blood tests were doing them almost twice day and were spending at least $325 a year.
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