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Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Date:6/7/2008

Math converts two systems into better measurement, study says

SATURDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found a mathematical relationship between two common blood glucose measurements that can help diabetics better monitor their condition.

An international study, published online in the August issue of Diabetes Care, describes the ties discovered between the three-month average glucose reading and levels of the A1C test and converting it to estimated average glucose (eAG). Most home-monitoring systems used by diabetics measure eAG in one type of unit, while A1C, which doctors have used for more than 25 years as the major measure of glucose control, is in different units.

It is extremely helpful for health-care professionals and patients to be using the same language to discuss glucose goals, Dr. Robert J. Heine, a professor of diabetology in the Department of Endocrinology at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, said in a prepared statement. Since patients sometimes find it difficult to understand the concept of glycated hemoglobin, it will be much easier to have all test results, both those from the lab and those the patient performs, in the same units.

The study, which examined 507 volunteers of various races and ethnicities with and without either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, confirms previous smaller studies.

Heine said the discovery will prove to be a valuable education tool. When health-care professionals set goals based on eAG units, then patients will know how close they are to reaching their goals every day when they test at home with self-monitoring, he said.

Most diabetics regularly use simple monitors that require pricking their fingers to obtain blood so they can check their blood glucose levels at home. The tests give blood glucose information only at that moment of the test.

A1C, by contrast, measures glucose control from the
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