Navigation Links
Experts Urge One Test to Diagnose Diabetes
Date:6/5/2009

A1C screen tracks blood sugar over time, with no fasting required

FRIDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- The A1C test, which measures average blood glucose levels over a period of two to three months, should now be the main tool doctors use to diagnose diabetes, an international expert panel recommended Friday.

Besides giving a more accurate picture of diabetes risk, the A1C test is easier on patients than older tests, which often required fasting.

Individuals with hemoglobin A1c values at or above 6.5 percent can be considered to have diabetes, although that number is not set in stone, the experts stated at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) annual meeting in New Orleans.

"This is the first major departure from the way that we've been diagnosing diabetes for more than 30 years, using a laboratory tool that is slightly different than the acute [short-term] measurement of glucose -- measurement of a single glucose value -- which has been traditionally used," said Dr. David Nathan, chairman of the committee and director of the diabetes center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

He spoke at a special press conference at the ADA meeting on Friday.

The committee comprised members of the ADA, the International Diabetes Federation and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, although these organizations have not yet issued position statements on the recommendations.

The ADA did, however, speak out unofficially in support of the conclusions.

"We support the conclusions of the paper that basically says that the A1c measurement is appropriate for diagnosing diabetes," said Dr. Paul Robertson, president of medicine and science for the ADA. "Right now, our focus is what comes next. What does this mean for diabetes?"

The guidelines will be referred to practice committees before an official statement is issued, he said.

The proposed diagnostic guidelines will also appear in the July issue of Diabetes Care.

Currently, two tests are widely used to diagnose type 2 diabetes, which now afflicts some 24 million Americans: fasting plasma glucose or oral glucose tolerance tests. Both look at short-term blood glucose levels and involve some inconvenience to patients, including fasting for periods of time before blood is drawn.

Blood glucose levels are also notoriously fickle, changing depending on how recently the patient exercised or ate a meal or snack. Blood sugar can also fluctuate if a person has a cold or if the blood sample is kept at room temperature or in a colder environment.

So, "the results are sometimes difficult to interpret," Nathan said. "With A1C, it doesn't really matter. We consider this a preferred method of diagnosing diabetes. It doesn't care what blood glucose levels are after dinner, before dinner, if you have a cold. It integrates all those levels."

The committee based its recommendations on a review of the literature, focusing on what A1C levels were more likely to result in diabetic retinopathy, a vision-threatening eye condition that is one potential complication of the disease.

"Diabetes is associated with both elevated levels of blood sugar and a host of complications and the one we can measure most quantitatively is retinopathy," Nathan explained. "Glucose levels span an enormous distribution. There's no clear-cut point. To pick a dividing line, we looked at glucose levels associated with this complication."

"After reviewing lots of clinical chemistry data, we determined that there are numerous advantages of A1C," he continued.

People with A1C levels between 6 and 6.5 percent are considered to be at higher risk for diabetes, the committee said.

Experts speaking at the teleconference emphasized that the conventional blood glucose tests are not to be discarded, especially in areas of the world where A1C testing might not be available.

"We're not discarding those tests. We just think that A1C is the preferred method in 2009, and that the world should be moving towards that universally," Nathan said.

Many physicians have already been doing so, added Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"The change is consistent with the direction practice has been going," he said. "And tight glucose control is still our focus."

More information

There's more on the A1C test at the American Diabetes Association.



SOURCES: Spyros Mezitis, M.D., Ph.D., endocrinologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; June 5, 2009, teleconference with David M. Nathan, M.D., director, Diabetes Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Paul Robertson, M.D., president, medicine and science, American Diabetes Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
2. Experts reach consensus on diagnosis and treatment of bleeding disorders in women
3. Outsmarting Brain Tumors: Cedars-Sinai Researchers, Neurosurgeons and Other Experts Present Free Conference for Adult Brain Tumor Patients and Caregivers
4. Experts Optimistic About Melanoma Vaccine
5. PRA International Oncology Experts at ASCO
6. Experts Urge Less Weight Gain for Obese Women in Pregnancy
7. Body Shaping Gets the Spotlight with Industry Experts and Celebrity Guest to Showcase SmoothShapes(R) and SmoothLipo(TM) Systems at THE Aesthetic Show in Las Vegas
8. Pain Medicine Experts Recommend Monitoring, Education for All Opioid Medicines
9. Experts Say Recommended Daily Dosage for Vitamin D is Grossly Inadequate
10. Experts to Discuss Worksite Preparedness Measures During May 19th Pandemic Flu Webinars
11. The Climate Project Brings Together Historic Gathering of World's Experts on Climate Change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Experts Urge One Test to Diagnose Diabetes
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned ... developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made ... in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery ... of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , ... for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now ... of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary ... Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support its work ... marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a ... second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... N.J. , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced ... Premier Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . ... year, Guerbet was recognized for its support of Premier ... creation through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... to receive this recognition of our outstanding customer service ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... the "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, ... Australia, Canada)" report to their offering. ... an essential tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical ... looks at surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: