SAN DIEGO, CA, JULY 15, 2007 —Measurement of glycohemoglobin—specifically the A1c adduct (HbA1c)—is widely used in patients as a monitor of long-term glycemic control and as an indicator of a need for change in insulin therapy. In addition, two large prospective, randomized trials—the Diabetes Complication and Control Trial and the U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study—established a direct relationship between HbA1c concentration and the risk of diabetic complications.
“These studies generated a huge amount of interest because they led to a recommendation that A1c be measure every six months in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This has had a major impact on utilization of this test,” said David Sacks, MB, ChB, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Today, Medicare and many health insurers require that diabetics receive at least one A1c test annually.
However, these studies also uncovered wide variation in A1c results performed by different methods—a situation now dramatically improved due to the efforts of the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program—and left unanswered the question of whether a correlation between A1c and glycemic control would hold in different patient populations. Now, a working group comprised of representatives from the American Diabetes Association, European Association for the Study of Diabetes, and the International Diabetes Foundation is investigating this latter issue. Dr. Sacks, a member of this coalition, will outline preliminary data from a multinational study on the afternoon of July 17 in Room 6F at the San Diego Convention Center.
The goal of this working group is to determine the relationship between A1c and glucose in diverse populations of diabetics and healthy subjects, thereby making test results more meaningful to physicians and patients. Currently, many patients think glycohemoglobin testing is used to monitor a disease of the blood, so they don’t really understand the relevance of those results in maintaining glycemic control. “If there was a way to convert A1c test results to correspond to glucose—and the scientific data to support such a conversion—it might be easier for patients to comprehend the results they’re seeing,” said Sacks.
The 59th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry is July 15-19 at the San Diego Convention Center. The meeting attracts 20,000 physicians, scientists and other professionals interested in laboratory science and medicine. More than 200 educational sessions will present the latest information on a wide range of topics in science and medicine.
AACC provides national and worldwide leadership in advancing the practice and profession of clinical laboratory medicine and its role in improving health care. AACC’s members develop and perform tests conducted in hospital laboratories, clinics, medical centers and other health care settings. For more information on AACC, visit ww.aacc.org
Interviews with Dr. Sacks may be arranged by contacting Brian Ruberry at (619) 525-6227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.