ADA: A1C Assay Most Accurate in Diabetes Diagnosis

International committee recommends significant change in the way diabetes is diagnosed
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- The A1C assay should be the definitive test to diagnose diabetes, according to a report presented at the American Diabetes Association's 69th Scientific Sessions, held from June 5 to 9 in New Orleans.

According to an international expert committee assembled by the American Diabetes Association, International Diabetes Federation, and European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the A1C assay may serve as a better marker than either the fasting plasma glucose test or the less commonly used oral glucose tolerance test.

After reviewing data which examined A1C levels and long-term complications of diabetes such as retinopathy, the committee concluded that an A1C value greater than or equal to 6.5 percent should be the cut-off point for diagnosing the disease.

"A1C values vary less than fasting plasma glucose values and the assay for A1C has technical advantages compared with the glucose assay," chair of the expert committee, David M. Nathan, M..D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a statement. "Also, testing for diabetes using A1C is more convenient and easier for patients who will no longer be required to perform a fasting or oral glucose tolerance test."

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