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Diabetes: Blood sugar meter accuracy


Blood sugar meter accuracy

There are a few reasons your blood sugar meter may give you a result that is not accurate (is not correct). Before you go to the lab to check if your meter is accurate, or buy a new meter, be sure:

  • Your hands are clean and free from anything that left any sweetness on your skin, e.g., fruit peel.
  • You store your blood sugar meter strips the way the manufacturer recommends. Many strips need to be closed tightly and have expiry dates.

How often should I check if my meter is accurate?

You should get your blood sugar meter checked once a year at the lab. You can get it checked at the same time that you’re doing any other blood work. Make sure to take your meter to the lab with you.

What do I need to do for this test?

After the lab technician takes blood from your arm, check your blood sugar with your meter as you usually do. Write down your meter result, and make a note that it was with your lab test. Later, compare the blood sugar result from your meter with the blood sugar result from the lab.

Meter accuracy math

To be accurate, your meter readings should be less than 15% different from the lab.

Example: Your healthcare provider tells you that your lab sugar result was 7.8 mmol/L. And in your log you recorded that your meter sugar result was 8.2 mmol/L at the same time. Based on the above formula:

Your meter gives you blood sugar readings that are only 5.1% different from the lab. This means that your meter is accurate, because it has to be less than 15% different from the lab.

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Current as of: October 21, 2020

Author: Primary Care and Chronic Disease Management, Alberta Health Services

This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.