WEBINAR – Factors Affecting Hemoglobin A1c Values (US)
Educational webinar “Factors Affecting Hemoglobin A1c Values” with Trefor N. Higgins – Director, Clinical Chemistry at DynaLIFEDx and Clinical Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Alberta.
Trefor N. Higgins
Director, Clinical Chemistry – DynaLIFEDx
Clinical Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology – University of Alberta
According to the World Health Organization, more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes, and this number is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide as reported by the American Diabetes Association. Hemoglobin A1c is recognized as effective in monitoring long- term glycemic control for improved diabetes management. While clinical assessment of hemoglobin A1c values is critical, an understanding of performance metrics and the effect of clinical conditions, pharmacokinetics, and hemoglobin variants on hemoglobin A1c values need to be fully realized for optimal clinical utilization and reduced risk for complications.
Attendees of this webinar will:
• Understand the clinical utility of Hemoglobin A1c testing and its role in the management of diabetes
• Realize the governing guidelines for standardized measurement and assessment of Hemoglobin A1c
• Identify critical factors that affect the analytical performance of Hemoglobin A1c methods
• Recognize significant demographic and clinical factors affecting Hemoglobin A1c values
Glycated hemoglobin or glycosylated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, A1C, or Hb1c; sometimes also HbA1c) is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the average plasma glucose concentration over prolonged periods of time. It is formed in a non-enzymatic glycation pathway by hemoglobin’s exposure to plasma glucose. Normal levels of glucose produce a normal amount of glycated hemoglobin. As the average amount of plasma glucose increases, the fraction of glycated hemoglobin increases in a predictable way. This serves as a marker for average blood glucose levels over the previous months prior to the measurement.
In diabetes mellitus, higher amounts of glycated hemoglobin, indicating poorer control of blood glucose levels, have been associated with cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, and retinopathy. Monitoring HbA1c in type 1 diabetic patients may improve outcomes.
Importance of Hemoglobin A1c Test
The hemoglobin A1c test — also called HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin test, or glycohemoglobin — is an important blood test used to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. Hemoglobin A1c provides an average of your blood sugar control over a six to 12 week period and is used in conjunction with home blood sugar monitoring to make adjustments in your diabetes medicines.
Hemoglobin is a substance within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. When your diabetes is not controlled (meaning that your blood sugar is too high), sugar builds up in your blood and combines with your hemoglobin, becoming “glycated.” Therefore, the average amount of sugar in your blood can be determined by measuring a hemoglobin A1c level. If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your hemoglobin A1c test will be higher. The amount of hemoglobin A1c will reflect the last several weeks of blood sugar levels, typically encompassing a period of 120 days.
For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c test is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. Because studies have repeatedly shown that out-of-control diabetes results in complications from the disease, the goal for people with diabetes is a hemoglobin A1c less than 7%. The higher the hemoglobin A1c, the higher the risks of developing complications related to diabetes.
People with diabetes should have this test every three months to determine whether their blood sugars have reached the target level of control. Those who have their diabetes under good control may be able to wait longer between the blood tests, but experts recommend checking at least 2 times a year.
Patients with diseases affecting hemoglobin such as anemia may get abnormal results with this test. Other abnormalities that can affect the results of the hemoglobin A1c include supplements such as vitamins C and E and high cholesterol levels. Kidney disease and liver disease may also affect the result of the hemoglobin A1c test.
Sponsored by Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
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