Charity casts doubt on call for glucose scores

Proposals for 'estimated average glucose' values to be given to patients have been criticised by Diabetes UK.

HbA1c results may be converted into units for self-testing (Photograph: SPL)

An international group of diabetes academics has suggested it 'may be advantageous' to convert patients' HbA1c results into an 'average glucose' level.

But Diabetes UK care adviser Libby Dowling said that using estimated average glucose values would 'serve only to confuse people with diabetes, which could be detrimental to their diabetes management and overall health'. She said the charity had 'grave concerns' about the research behind calls for estimated average glucose values.

'There is not enough of it and it has largely been conducted on a white population,' she said.

'We need further research, especially in different ethnic populations, children and during pregnancy.'

A coalition including the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the International Diabetes Federation and the American Diabetes Association backed estimated average glucose values in a public statement last week.

'The use of an estimated average glucose in discussion with an individual patient may add to the consultation process, and the availability of such estimation may be advantageous,' the group said.

The statement acknowledges there is no consensus on how these estimates should be made available. Agreement would have to be made at a local level on how values should be calculated and provided to patients.

The group also recommended that dual reporting of HbA1c units in journals and other academic materials should continue.

Although mmol/mol units are replacing percentages worldwide, for many years researchers will still be referring to trials using the old percentage units, the group said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

BMA sign

GPs reject 'insulting' contract as BMA issues stark warning over 'death of general practice'

GP leaders have rejected 'insulting' proposed changes to the GP contract for 2023/23,...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Why underdoctored areas face a vicious cycle and how NHS plans could hit GP workload

The team discusses our new GP Insight tool and what it tells us about the GP workforce...

GP consultation

GP partners in decline in almost every part of England

GP partners are in decline in almost every part of England - with the proportion...

GP sign

Half of GPs have cut working hours to ease workload, poll shows

More than half of GPs have reduced their working hours because of intense workload...

Dr Ifthikar Lone

'Doctor Boro': GP who survived COVID-19 inspires folk song

A Middlesbrough GP who survived a severe COVID-19 infection early in the pandemic...

Patients in GP waiting room

Where in England are patients per GP rising fastest?

GPs are responsible for up to 13% more patients now than they were just two years...