Charity says HbA1c change 'will not affect patient care'

GPs should reassure patients with diabetes that new units for HbA1c results are only a reporting change and will not affect management of their condition, Diabetes UK has said.

From April next year, HbA1c results will be reported in mmol/mol, giving a numerically larger result than the percentage level currently used. Results of 31, 42, 53 and 64 mmol/mol are equivalent to results of 5, 6, 7 and 8 per cent.

For two years, laboratories will give results in both percentage terms and the mmol/mol score, but from April 2011, results will only be given in mmol/mol.

Diabetes UK is developing three leaflets to explain the change to consultants and GPs, other health professionals and patients with diabetes. These will be sent out in 2009.

The units for reporting HbA1c results are changing following international agreement to use the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry standard. This gives results, in percentage terms, 1.5 to 2 per cent lower than the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial reference previously used by UK labs.

In January, a UK consensus group decided that new units should be used to avoid potential confusion because patients might assume their control had improved when, in fact, they were comparing their new results with old targets. A decision was therefore taken to express results in mmol/mol.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Sign pointing to hospital

NHS England seeks to clarify GPs' responsibilities when using advice and guidance

New guidance from NHS England has set out the clinical responsibilities and medicolegal...

Widespread joint pain - red flag symptoms

Presentations and red flag symptoms that may alert you to potentially serious conditions...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Supporting neurodivergent doctors and staff in general practice

Talking General Practice speaks to GPs Dr Beckie Akroyd and Dr Catherine Bell about...

BMA Scotland GP committee chair Dr Andrew Buist

General practice in Scotland 'in serious trouble', warns BMA Scotland GP chair

General practice in Scotland has reached a tipping point, with demand far outstripping...

Hospital entrance

NHS England issues warning over norovirus and rising winter pressures

Almost three times as many people were in hospital with norovirus last week compared...

BMA Northern Ireland GP committee chair Dr Alan Stout

Northern Ireland GPs face deepest-ever crisis as practices hand back contracts

Northern Ireland's GP leader has warned that general practice in the region is facing...