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Diagnosing Diabetes: Immediate HbA1c Results Improve Glycemic Control

emoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) and the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC). In fact, nearly all laboratories in the United States use NGSP-certified methods. This helps to ensure that a test performed by a laboratory professional in Texas would show the same result as one performed in Pennsylvania. Other recent developments include using the name "A1C" as the test's official name and adopting a reference method suggested by IFCC as the international standard. Such a method requires additional education for both health-care providers and patients because the numbers reported as test results will differ from those currently in use. Eventually, standardization will improve the testing's consistency, but, for now, current methods and result reporting will still be used.

The HbA1c test is usually done in a health-care provider's office, where a small blood sample is drawn. A laboratory tests the sample and then gives the results to the patient's health-care provider. A study published in Diabetes Care (Cagliero E, Levina EV, Nathan DM. Immediate feedback of HbA1c levels improves glycemic control in type 1 and insulin-treated type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetes Care 1999; 22:1785-1789) tried to determine if accurate and reliable HbA1c results could be obtained at the time of an office visit by using bench top analyzers. The authors tested the hypothesis that immediately available results could improve glycemic control by changing either physician or patient behavior or both. They concluded that immediate feedback based on HbA1c results at the time of patient encounters resulted in a significant improvement of glycemic control at the 6-month follow-up and persisted for the 12-month study.

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA, has expanded the testing capacity of its D-10 Hemoglobin Testing System with the addition of the D-10 Rack Loader. The Rack Loader increases the system's capacity from 10
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