The Prevalence of Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose and Costs of Glucometer Strips in a Nationwide Cohort
TypeJournal article; Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Objective: This study used nationwide data to determine the prevalence of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) among all non-institutionalized persons living in Norway and to estimate the prevalence of SMBG among diabetes patients, the frequency and cost of SMBG, and the use of different glucometers. Methods: This retrospective, descriptive study is based on data of sales of glucometer strips to noninstitutionalized persons in Norway in 2008. The data included gender, age group, month of purchase, sales place, type of strips, number of packages dispensed, and cost of strips. Additionally, statistics on sales of insulin and oral antidiabetes medications were obtained from the Norwegian Prescription Database. Results: A total of 96,999 persons purchased strips, a prevalence of 2%. Approximately 70% of diabetes patients practiced SMBG. An average patient used 1.7 strips per day, and younger patients purchased more strips than older patients. Fewer than 50% of patients performed glucose measurements daily. One percent of patients used more than 10 strips daily and was accountable for 8% of total costs. Most patients used only one type of strips, but the number of strips purchased increased with the number of different strips. The average annual cost of strips was 446 € per person. Conclusions: Two percent of all non-institutionalized inhabitants and an estimated 70% of patients using diabetes medication purchased SMBG strips. A small percentage of the patients incurred a substantial proportion of the costs. This, along with the fact that over half of the patients monitor less than once per day, calls for tighter follow-up of diabetes patients.