New Diabetes Test Could Be More Accurate
For more than 400 million people with diabetes around the world, blood testing is a routine part of managing their disease.
Those tests, however, aren’t always accurate for a variety of reasons.
A team of researchers thinks there might be a better way.
The researchers say they have devised a new method for estimating blood sugar levels that can reduce errors by more than 50 percent.
The researchers published their findings today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
In their study, they combined a mathematical model of hemoglobin glycation in red blood cells with large data sets of patient glucose measurements. It indicated that the age of red blood cells is a major indicator of A1C variation because hemoglobin accumulates more sugar over time.
When they controlled the age of cells and tested it on more than 200 people with diabetes, they say the error rate went from 1 in 3 to 1 in 10.
One of the researchers, Dr. John Higgins, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, told Healthline these calculations can be used to correct the test results that people with diabetes now get at their regular checkups.
It can also provide an estimate of the A1C result for patients using continuous glucose monitors.
Essentially, it has the potential to be the new gold standard in diabetic testing, Higgins said.
Read more: Prediabetes: To screen or not to screen? »
What’s wrong with current tests
The current gold standard for diabetes screening is the glycohemoglobin test (HbA1c).
It is a general gauge of diabetes control that specifies an average blood glucose level over Continue reading