An international effort is under way to standardize hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) test reporting for patients with diabetes. Experts say expressing the value in mg/dL, the same unit of measure used to express standard glucose self-monitoring values, will make more sense to patients. The HbA1C value is currently expressed as a percentage.
Results of a major study, the HbA1C-derived Average Glucose trial, demonstrate a close correlation between HbA1C and average glucose measurements obtained over 3 months. This allows the HbA1C value to be accurately translated into an estimated average glucose value, researchers say. They emphasize that the test itself doesn't change; rather, results are determined using different algorithms. Using the new reference method, an HbA1C result of 7.5% would be equivalent to an estimated average blood glucose of 188 mg/dL. Researchers presented their findings at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 43rd Annual Meeting in September.