Best Glucose Monitors

February 27, 2009 6:19:51 PM PST
Twenty-four million people in the country are dealing with diabetes and testing their own blood sugar level, is vital to their health.Marc Perton and John McCowen have diabetes. They are two of the five staffers at Consumer Reports who served as panelists for the home glucose-monitor testing.

John McCowen said, "I personally test myself twice a day, once in the morning and once at night."

Consumer Reports had the panelists test 13 home glucose monitors for ease of use and used an outside lab, to check for accuracy.

Dr. Orly Avitzur a Consumer Reports Medical Advisor said, "The problem if someone gets inaccurate or inconsistent test results is that the medication that they administer would be the wrong dose and that could lead to either too serious a drop in blood sugar or a blood sugar that's too high, and both could lead to serious health consequences."

The tests found some of the home glucose monitors performed better than others. Top ratings went to the One-Touch-Ultra-Mini. It delivered consistent, accurate readings in about five seconds and it's easy to use. It costs 20 dollars, plus a dollar fourteen for each strip. And Consumer Reports named as a Best Buy, the nine dollar ReliOn Ultima sold at Wal-Mart. It earned very good scores for consistency and accuracy and its strips cost just 44 cents apiece.

Insurance may cover the cost of a blood-glucose monitor, as well as testing supplies, so it's worth checking with your insurer to see if you have coverage.

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