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Are you ready? HbA1c will soon be shown differently!

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!

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The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
Posted: Sep 29, 2011 16:45
  • Are you ready? HbA1c will soon be shown differently!
    This was supposed to go through in the UK back in June 2011 but it was held off until October 1st - which is in a few days.  What is different about the new system? The "old" percentage for our HBA1c values was known as the DCCT (Diabetes Control and Complications Trial) units. Now, the new mmols/mol values will be known as the IFCC (International Federation of Clinical Chemistry) units.

    It's recommended that people with diabetes try to keep their HbA1c levels below 48 mmols/mol (under the new units) - which is 6.5%.

    So, using the
    converter found at Diabetes.co.uk - my 6% HBA1c will now be shown as 42.0767 (see picture below).  When first converting my usual percentage HBA1c I just about flipped at the number - but then realissed - I was okay.

    I know with living in Canada, where we went from Imperial measurements to Metric in the 1970's - it's just something we all went along with (not everyone mind you even today). The same would be for me here - if Canada goes this route to IFCC.  Just like when we went from mg/dl to mmol/l (aka the "World" Standard) for our blood glucose monitoring (though still USA and a few other countries still use the mg/dl readings for blood sugar readings).  The good thing out of all of this - I can relate to both and tend to show both units when posting my blood sugars as a courtesy. 

    From an online publication by NGSP (National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program) that I came across from 2010 - it also states -

    Officially, there is worldwide consensus that HbA1c should be reported in both NGSP (%) and IFCC (mmol/mol) units along with eAG (in either mmol/L or mg/dL). However, the decision on what to report is actually being made country by country. In the US, reporting NGSP % HbA1c along with eAG has been recommended by the ADA and the AACC. Some other countries have also decided, most will report IFCC and NGSP and some will switch to IFCC only in two years. Although the world will again be reporting different numbers, results will be traceable to IFCC numbers as well as to clinical data through linear equations that are carefully monitored. The ADA, IDF, EASD, and ISPAD as well as other member associations in different countries currently provide patient care guidelines that relate directly to NGSP (DCCT/UKPDS) numbers. These will need to be updated to include both NGSP and IFCC numbers."

    If you live in the UK or any other country that is going this route for recording your HBA1c - how do you feel about it?

    Comments (3):
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  • By: AmariT: Oct, 03, 2011 16:42 PM
    I think we in the U.S. tried to convert to the metric system back in the 1970's, but people rebelled because change is evil. I think we should have pushed forward. People always reject change in the beginning, but they adjust and accept it over time--especially if the change makes  sense.

    I don't know much about the new HbA1c units, but if the experts agree that this will work better, works for me.

    By: FatCatAnna: Sep, 30, 2011 02:26 AM
    I'm pretty well the same as you Natalie - where the most important thing for me is the numbers that I have showing on my blood meter.  If they are within the parameters that I have set for myself - then I am happy.  Like you, I often think an A1C isn't really a "true" picture of complete control - because it's an average - and if you are having a roller coaster ride of lows and then highs - it can greatly change the outcome of your A1C like you saw - it doesn't show the true picture in my point of view!

    By: natsera: Sep, 30, 2011 02:06 AM
    I don't care how they report my A1c -- it's invalid for me, anyway. I'm a low glycator, and my A1c has, for 20 years, been consistently lower than my BGs would indicate. When I was diagnosable by today's standards, my A1c was 4.8, and when I was near comatose with BGs averaging about 500, my A1c was 10.7, which corresponds to an eAG of somewhere in the mid 200's. My docs may think I'm doing great with an A1c of 6.0, but *I* know it's not exemplary by any real standard. So I'll just keep on ignoring the A1c, no matter how they report it, and keep close tabs on my BGs.

    HBA1c (1) NGSP (1) Diabetes.co.uk (1) converter (1) IFCC (1) DCCT (1) blood sugar (1)

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