American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions

American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions

June 15, 2016
3 min watch

VIDEO: Measure glucose, not HbA1c

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NEW ORLEANS — In this video exclusive, Irl B. Hirsch, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, discusses implications of a study finding differences in the relationship between HbA1c and blood glucose in black and white populations.

The paradigm of diagnosing, treating and reimbursing based on HbA1c is limited by the assumption that the biomarker indicates the same glucose range in all patients. This can lead to undertreating a patient whose HbA1c is considered normal but whose glucose level is high, or overtreating in the opposite circumstance, according to Hirsch.

“HbA1c is a biomarker, but it’s far from perfect. ... We have the ability to measure glucose now and we need to do so,” Hirsch said.