NEW DIABETES TEST
ANCHOR LEAD: AN INTERNATIONAL BODY OF EXPERTS NOW RECOMMENDS HEMOGLOBIN A1C TESTING TO DIAGNOSE DIABETES. ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Hemoglobin A1c is a measurement of how many sugar molecules are attached to hemoglobin, found in red blood cells. Since red blood cells have a couple of months to circulate, the value provides an average blood sugar over the previous couple of months. Now experts say there’s enough evidence to base diagnosing diabetes on this test. Christopher Saudek, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, agrees.
SAUDEK: There’s a lot to using hemoglobin A1c in diagnosing diabetes. It has not in the past been approved as a diagnostic criterion. Now it seems that the organization is coming around to recommend it. The value to using A1c is that it’s a non-fasting test. So people do not have to come to their doctor’s office not having eaten, they can come mid-day having eaten their regular meals and hemoglobin A1c will still be an accurate reflection of blood glucose over the past two to three months. :32
So expect to have this test done on your blood to evaluate diabetes. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.