THE majority of diabetics who check their glucose levels at home do not understand how to monitor themselves properly and take no action when readings are abnormal.

Researchers at Stirling University raised concerns about self-monitoring after interviewing 207 patients in Tayside with type-2 diabetes who assessed their own blood glucose levels at home and did not use insulin.

They found that more than 60% of sufferers took no action in response to test readings, mainly because they didn't know what to do.

They also found that many patients mistakenly estimated a blood glucose level of 10mmol/litre or above to be the danger threshold, when most health professionals would recommend readings should be less than seven.

Type-2 diabetes affects around 209,000 Scots.

Lead researcher Dr Josie Evans said: "More than half of the patients were taking no action in response to self-monitoring.

"Some patients find it very frustrating if they have a high reading as they are unsure what to do about it. They know what to do if they have a low blood glucose reading but the opposite is confusing.

"There is no point in patients self-monitoring unless they are educated in how to interpret readings and to respond appropriately and this may be why patients who self-monitored did not seem to have better blood glucose control."