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On average, how much time per day do you spend on direct diabetes care tasks?


Include glucose monitoring, insulin dosing, carb counting, and treating highs and lows


Under 15 minutes






15 to 30 minutes






31 to 45 minutes






46 to 60 minutes






61 to 75 minutes






76 to 90 minutes






Over 90 minutes






Total votes: 333


On average, how much time per day do you spend on direct diabetes care tasks?

Poll dates: October 29 - November 5, 2008
Total Votes: 333

A 2006 study (see below) found that children with type 1 diabetes spend about an hour each day on diabetes-related tasks. If you allow 8 hours a day for sleep, that means that one out of 16 waking hours is spent on diabetes -- over 6% of your life. That's a lot of time.

As parents, we need to encourage our kids with diabetes and remind them that active diabetes management makes a big difference in their health. For example, research has shown reductions in HbA1c with increasing frequency of blood glucose monitoring, regardless of the individual glucose readings. Thus we should encourage our kids to check often and praise them for checking. Together we can then decide what to do based on the glucose reading -- treat a low, adjust insulin for a high, and continue on for an in-target reading. Teaching kids problem solving skills will help them grow up and take charge of their own diabetes.

Many companies are working on new technology that can help reduce the amount of time devoted to diabetes tasks while, at the same time, offering improvements in care. Continuous glucose monitors hold the promise for reducing the amount of time we spend monitoring glucose values and for helping to prevent highs and lows, which take time to treat. Closed loop systems that use continuous glucose sensors to control insulin pumps hold the promise for dramatically reducing the amount of time required to care for diabetes. While continuous sensors are available now, closed loop systems -- or even semi-closed loop systems -- remain in the research stage, but they are under development.

This chart shows how readers have answered this poll over the past couple of years:

Chart- click for larger image
Answer   Oct 2008   Oct 2007   Oct 2006
Under 15   5%   11%   11%
15 - 30   27%   22%   29%
31 - 45   22%   15%   19%
46 - 60   17%   27%   15%
61 - 75   8%   6%   9%
76 - 90   3%   4%   4%
Over 90   18%   14%   13%

Download the Excel 2007 spreadsheet with this data.

For more information, see Treatment burden and health-related quality of life of children with diabetes, cystic fibrosis and asthma (J Paediatr Child Health. 2006 Oct;42(10):596-600).

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Last Updated: Wednesday November 05, 2008 16:06:44
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