A1c test for diabetes could inform many unaware

8/5/2008

BALTIMORE According to a team led by Christopher Saudek, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Diabetes Center, the hemoglobin A1c test—used to tell if diabetics are keeping their blood sugar in line—should be used to identify patients with the disease who are yet unaware of the problem, reported the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Since the test does not require fasting and isn’t affected by short-term changes in diet and exercise, the HbA1c test has significant advantages to current testing methods.

The current screening and diagnostic tests measure only the amount of sugar present at the moment that blood sample is taken. Consequently, Saudek says, these tests are accurate only if patients fast for at least 10 hours before the test because glucose concentrations can vary greatly depending on a person’s recent meals.

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