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Worldwide one in twenty people have diabetes. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes accounting for an estimated 85-95% of all diabetes cases. Traditionally, self-monitoring of blood glucose levels for type 1 and type 2 diabetes who use insulin to treat their condition is recommended. What is in question is if type 2 diabetes patients who do not use insulin benefit from self monitoring of blood glucose levels.

Maurice O’Kane, MD, University of Ulster, and colleagues, report they found no significant effect of self monitoring on blood sugar levels or cases of type 2 diabetes or hyperglycaemia after a year long study. However, the researchers did find that type 2 diabetes patients, who do not require insulin injections, reported a higher level of depression and anxiety when self monitoring blood sugar levels.

Researchers suggest there is evidence that some patients find self monitoring uncomfortable, intrusive, and unpleasant–which might account for the negative feelings reported because of enforced self monitoring without any obvious benefit. 

Researchers note that because self monitoring by type 2 diabetes patients, who do not also use insulin, is unlikely to benefit lifetime health benefits the cost may be unjustified.