People with diabetes who regularly monitor their blood sugar levels could reduce their risk of developing complications related to the condition, according to a new study.

As part of the study people with diabetes using a continuous blood glucose monitor device to check their blood sugar levels recorded how many times they took readings.

More than 50,000 people took part and recorded an average of 16 readings a day – more than three times the minimum recommended to people with diabetes in the US and Europe.

However, with more than 409 million blood sugar readings, and 85 million hours of monitoring recorded, researchers concluded that regular testing had the knock-on effect of better results as fewer cases of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) were reported, in addition to improved average glucose levels.

The study was carried out by Abbott and looked at people using the FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring device.

The device consists of a small, round sensor worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days, which measures glucose (blood sugar) every minute through a wire inserted just under the skin and held in place with a small adhesive pad. The device includes a reader that scans over the sensor to get instant blood sugar readings.

Ramzi Ajjan, M.D, University of Leeds, said: “The real-world data further confirms that patients are checking glucose more frequently, up to 16 times per day on average, which is cumbersome to maintain with the conventional fingerstick method. With comprehensive glucose data, patients now have access to more meaningful information key for optimizing their glycaemia control.”

Jared Watkin, Senior Vice President, Diabetes Care, Abbott said: “The device is changing how diabetes has been managed for decades, with one simple swipe. Most importantly, we’re doing that by empowering patients with the information that they need to take action themselves, helping people living with diabetes live fuller, healthier lives.”

The results of the study were presented recently at the Advanced Technologies and Treatment for Diabetes (ATTD) congress in Paris.

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