7.5mmol/l (or 135 mg/dl)… that was my first blood test result today… but how accurate is really my meter… can I really trust that number?
In a study performed by the Department of Health of the UK, One-hundred-and-two patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes were observed performing a capillary blood glucose test. Immediately afterwards, a venous sample was taken for glucose and the two values compared. Only 47% of patients’ results were accurate to within 10% of their corresponding laboratory value.
After reading this you may feel, like I did, that your meter is completely useless and that you may as well toss a coin or throw a dice before chosing your next insulin dose. It is important, however, to understand the current regulations for glucose meter accuracy. According to the American Diabetes Association, a test result from a home blood glucose meter is considered accurate if it falls within ±20% of a lab test. Comparing a meter’s test result with a lab test is the only valid method of determining whether or not your glucose meter is really accurate.
On the other hand, it does not seem like everything is lost. In a report published in the New York times a few weeks ago, the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicates that there is a move to lobby the International Standards Organization into revising the international standard to mandate higher meter accuracy. Furthermore, according to a letter from the FDA, if the international standard is not revised, the agency may recognize the new requirement on its own, effectively making it mandatory for approval into the US market.
While this is not yet a done deal, it definitely looks promising.