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DIABETES SCREENING

ANCHOR LEAD: NOW THAT A NEW TEST IS RECOMMENDED FOR DIAGNOSIS OF DIABETES, WILL IT BE USED FOR SCREENING AS WELL?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Hemoglobin A1c is the new standard for diagnosing diabetes, an international committee including the American Diabetes Association has stated, but can it be used for screening purposes as well?  Christopher Saudek, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, says yes.

SAUDEK:  There’s a level of A1c that seems to indicate abnormal without being actually diabetic.  And that would be in the 6% to 6.5% and that roughly correlates with what has been called prediabetes.  If your A1c is in that 6 to 6.5 range, we would recommend that you be followed more closely, and that perhaps undertake to lose some weight, to get more active, to prevent diabetes from occurring.  It’s not a level that means you actually have diabetes.    :29

Among the many advantages to measuring hemoglobin A1c is the fact that it’s convenient, since it doesn’t require fasting, and it’s very reliable.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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