Background: Self Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG) is a useful adjunct to lifestyle
modification and medications for optimal management of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM). This study
was aimed at evaluating the practice, cost and associations of SMBG in subjects with type 2 DM in
Methods: In a cross-sectional survey conducted at the diabetes clinic in three hospitals, 366 type 2 diabetic
subjects aged 18-65 years were consecutively interviewed. Socio-demographic and clinical information
were documented and glycated hemoglobin was performed for all the participants.
Results: A total of 318 subjects with mean age of 49.0 ± 9.4 years completed the study. 304 subjects
(95.6%) reported that they were aware of SMBG and 60.7% practiced SMBG at frequencies ranging
from ≥ 1/day (7.9%), ≥ 1/week (26.1%) or < 1/week (26.7%). 39.3% of the respondents did not perform
any SMBG. Lack of finance was the predominant reason for not performing any SMBG. The
median monthly cost of performing SMBG excluding the cost of meters was N2,000 (USD 6.7) per patient,
amounting to annual societal cost of N37.8 billion (USD 126 million). Significant associates of
performing any SMBG were longer DM duration, previous participation in diabetes education, insulin
treatment and infrequent hospitalization.
Conclusion: Despite high awareness, SMBG practice is grossly inadequate and is associated with a
huge economic burden that may be unsustainable in a resource-poor country like Nigeria. Measures
aimed at reducing the cost of glucometers and strips, and improving diabetes education are recommended.