Health Alert: Glucose monitors - - Columbia, South Carolina

Health Alert: Glucose monitors

(National) Oct. 4, 2005 - For diabetics, keeping your blood sugar under control is essential to help prevent blindness and other complications. A good glucose monitor can help.

Researchers recently looked at more than a dozen models to find the best and worst performers. As a diabetic, Richard Chambers exercises and watches what he eats, and he's gotten more careful about monitoring his blood sugar level, "It's the most important thing there is. It took me 40 years to find that out."

Consumer Reports' Rich Handel headed up tests of 13 glucose monitors that cost from $20 to more than $100. Lab tests showed some of the monitors didn't give consistent readings, a serious drawback, "For a person testing their blood glucose level, they could get the wrong information and treat it improperly."

The monitors that gave inconsistent results are the New Tek from Relion sold at Wal-Mart, the True Track Smart System sold in drugstore chains, and the Advance from Hypoguard.

To evaluate how easy the monitors are to use, Consumer Reports called on nine panelists, including Daniel Harrison, "You're supposed to do it a lot during the day. The easier you make that, the more likely you are to keep to your doctor's orders."

In the end, Consumer Reports found several good choices. Some of the best were the BD Logic and the Freestyle Flash. Each are compact, give results quickly, and cost $73. Consumer Reports also recommends two glucose monitors from Lifescan called the Onetouch Ultra and the Onetouch Ultrasmart.

Posted 5:35pm by Chantelle Janelle

Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this Web site. Copyright © 2000-2005 Consumers Union of U.S. , Inc.

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