The rationale for paired pre- and postprandial self-monitoring of blood glucose: The role of glycemic variability in micro- and macrovascular risk

University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. <>
Current Medical Research and Opinion (Impact Factor: 2.65). 09/2007; 23(8):1791-8. DOI: 10.1185/030079907X210660
Source: PubMed


Decisions regarding diabetes management traditionally have been driven by the results of fasting plasma glucose measurement or measurement of glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C), yet glycemic control remains far from optimal in many individuals with diabetes. Mounting evidence implicates glycemic variability, manifested predominantly as postprandial glycemic spikes, as a key factor in the development of macrovascular complications. Recent studies suggest that newer therapies specifically targeting postprandial hyperglycemia can significantly reduce postprandial glucose levels and improve overall glycemic control.
A Medline search was performed using the term 'postchallenge' or 'postprandial', together with glucose or diabetes. After excluding review articles and case studies, we reviewed primary articles, meta-analyses, and references therein and selected those that best addressed this topic. Selection bias may be considered a potential limitation of this approach.
Although not conclusively demonstrated by prospective studies, a wealth of evidence suggests that postprandial hyperglycemia should not be ignored as an important target for preventing complications of diabetes.
Improved detection and management of postprandial hyperglycemia and glycemic variability is necessary to optimize glycemic control. Meal-based self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) has been shown to improve glycemic control as part of a comprehensive management strategy by helping patients understand the effects of food choices, physical activity, and medications on blood glucose concentrations. SMBG can also help healthcare professionals recognize postprandial hyperglycemia, guide therapeutic adjustments and receive more timely feedback regarding medication changes. The arrival of new therapies that specifically target postprandial hyperglycemia offer healthcare professionals the opportunity to optimally manage diabetes.

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