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Times per day check blood for glucose

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults who were ever told by a doctor or other health professional that they had diabetes (other than during pregnancy) (DIABETICEV), DIAGLUCDAY reports the number of times per day they checked their blood for glucose or sugar. The question was phrased as, "On average, about how often do you check your blood for glucose or sugar? Include times when checked by a family member or friend, but do not include times when checked by a health professional." Interviewers accepted and recorded responses in terms of the number of times per day, week, month, or year that respondents said they checked their blood glucose. Responses were converted into number of times per day by the National Center for Health Statistics for the original NHIS public use data files.

DIAGLUCDAY is a recode of data recorded in two complementary variables also available in 2003. The first of these variables, DIAGLUCTP, reports the time unit which respondents used when answering the question about how often they checked their blood glucose. The second of these variables, DIAGLUCNO, reports the number of such units stated by respondents when answering this question.

Definitions and Related Variables 

Self-testing of blood glucose levels is generally done using a small portable machine called a blood glucose meter. Self-testing of blood glucose levels is done to monitor the effectiveness of a diabetes treatment plan. For persons who take short-acting insulin before meals, blood sugar test results can help determine how much insulin to take. According to Web M.D.,

People with diabetes usually need to check the amount of sugar in their blood at least once a day. People who take insulin to control their diabetes may need to check their blood glucose level several times a day.

Other diabetes-related questions were periodically included in the survey; see DIABETICEV for a summary of these variables currently in the IPUMS NHIS.


This variable is only available in 2003.


  • 2003: Sample adults age 18+ who were ever told they had diabetes (other than during pregnancy).


  • 2003