My husband had a glucose fasting test. It was 9.6 mmol/L [173 mg/dl]. What do the results mean? How is this test different from an A1c?
If he has one more test with a glucose that high in the fasting state, he will be diagnosed with diabetes. Currently, the American Diabetes Association criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes are two fasting blood sugars at different times above 7 mmol/l [125 mg/dl]. At 9.6, he only needs an additional test that high to make the diagnosis.
The A1c is different from the glucose concentration in the blood or plasma. It really measures how many glucose molecules are attached to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is significant because it stays in the blood 120 days and is exposed to glucose a long time. Therefore, the hemoglobin A1c reflects the average blood sugar over the previous three months. Only recently has it been allowed to diagnose diabetes with a hemoglobin A1c above 6.5%. Most laboratories have a normal range up to 6.0%. Although the hemoglobin A1c is not as sensitive as fasting glucose criteria, it is easier to measure with a simple blood test that is usually available in most clinics and hospitals. This does not apply to the use of over the counter hemoglobin A1c tests you can purchase at the store. They are thought not to be as accurate as needs to be to diagnose diabetes
Last Updated: Wednesday May 05, 2010 21:55:40
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