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HbA1c — Use of Glycated Haemoglobin in the diagnosis of Diabetes

Around the Globe, 425 million people have diabetes out of which 82 million are in the south East Asia of which India is contributing at №1. There were over 72,946,400 cases in India in 2017 and the prevalence level is gone to 8.7 %.

For the diagnosis of diabetes, the most common word which is associated with it is HbA1c which is also known as Hemoglobin A1c or Glycated Haemoglobin.

It is most important to know that, why is it also known as Glycated Haemoglobin?

This is just because the hemoglobin a protein present within the Red blood cells that joins with the glucose present in blood and it becomes “Glycated”.

So, by measuring the Glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1c) in blood the clinicians are able to get the overall picture of the sugar level for over a period of weeks/Months.

The overall mechanism of measuring the accurate average of blood sugar is very simple. It is like that whenever our body processes the sugar in the form of glucose it naturally attaches with the protein part i.e. Haemoglobin. So the amount of glucose that attaches to the protein part is directly proportional to the total amount of sugar that is present in your body at that particular time.

As in humans the RBC’s survive for 8–12 weeks before renewal, calculating the average HbA1c can be used to get the outcome of average blood sugar levels.

Different Levels of HbA1c have been observed and is used to know the different levels of Diabetes. It is used to Distinguishing the person from having:

  • Pre-Diabetic
  • Diabetic
  • Non-Diabetic

If the value is less than 42mmol/mol then the person is normal and is not having Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic condition but if the value is 42–47 mmol/mol then the person is in Pre-diabetic condition and if the value is 48 mmol/mol or over he/she is definitely having Diabetes.

The benefits of lowering the Hba1c Level have been proven by two large scale studies done by the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) and the Diabetes Control and Complication Trials (DCCT) which showed that improving HbA1c by 1% in type 1 or type 2 diabetes it directly cuts the risk of having microvascular complications by 25%.

The microvascular complication contains:

  • Neuropathy
  • Retinopathy
  • Diabetic Neuropathy

Other than this, there are certain findings that have been done that show that patients who maintained their HbA1c level lower than the 53 mmol/mol or below having a significantly lower risk of having cardiovascular problems and Kidney damage.

HbA1c Recommended Ranges:

The recommended range for HbA1c differs with the type of Diabetes. The people who are at risk of hypoglycemia are advised to keep their HbA1c level below the 59mmol/mol and the person who is having diabetes is advised to maintain or lower the value of HbA1c from 48mmol/mol.

When should a person go for HbA1c Test?

A person should go for HbA1c Test at least once a year as it will be helping in the Preventive diagnosis of Diabetes.

HbA1c is definitely user-friendly and one of the stable tests with minimum biological variability and it is not affected by the factors which otherwise is having an impact on the glucose measurement.

Dr. B. Lal Clinical Laboratory is providing the best services that are helping out the people to know their HbA1c level and to go for preventive diagnosis rather than diagnosing after having diabetes.



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