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Blood tests may cause depression

"Needless" blood sugar tests could be leading thousands of British diabetics into depression, according to research.

The study said though it is essential for those people with diabetes who rely on insulin to keep an eye on their blood sugar levels, noninsulin dependent diabetics may not need to continue the practice.

The NHS is estimated to spend more than £100m a year on helping type 2 diabetics monitor their own blood sugar levels.

The majority of people with type 2 diabetes do not need insulin, but they are still advised to monitor their own blood sugar.

Research in the British Medical Journal suggests checking does not deliver any long-term health benefits and could even lead to depression.

One study, led by Dr Maurice O'Kane from the Western Health and Social Care Trust in Londonderry, assessed whether self-monitoring had an effect on blood glucose levels and the incidence of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels).

The researchers found self-monitoring had no significant effect on blood glucose levels or cases of hypoglycaemia after a year.

"In patients with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes self-monitoring of blood glucose concentration has no effect on glycaemic control but is associated with higher scores on a depression subscale," researchers wrote.

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Western Health and Social Care Trust

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