HbA1c Testing for Diagnosing and Monitoring Diabetes
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a common metabolic disease that is characterized by frequent sessions of uncontrolled high blood sugar or hyperglycaemia caused by poor insulin production or increased resistance to insulin. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that 8.5% of the global population was affected by diabetes in 2014, or roughly 422 million people.1
Diabetes is divided into two main types, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is manifested by complete deficiency of insulin production, which results in uncontrolled blood glucose levels, type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in early childhood so is often referred to as juvenile diabetes.
While type 2 diabetes, the most common type, is characterized by the under production of insulin or the body’s cells becoming resistant to the action of insulin as a result of environmental and genetic factors which often present in adult life, so this type of diabetes is often referred to as adult-onset diabetes.
FBG and OGTT diagnostic testing methods
Previously, the measurement of two-hour plasma glucose through an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) or fasting blood glucose (FBG) was the main diagnostic protocol for diabetes.2 To diagnose a patient as diabetic via FBG or OGTT, the diagnostic criteria are:
FBG ≥7.0 mmol/l, or
Two-hour plasma blood glucose concentration should be ≥11.1 mmol/l, two hours after injecting a 75g anhydrous glucose through an OGTT
While a good level of accuracy is afforded by both testing methods, these have their own limitations. For instance, the FBG test requires 8 hours Continue reading