Making the A1C Test More Precise
Doctors rely on the A1C test to measure how much glucose red blood cells have soaked up over a period of time, but the tests can be imprecise, delivering different results to people with similar glucose levels. Scientists now think that the age of red blood cells plays a role—older cells pick up more glucose than newer cells. To correct this, they have designed a mathematical formula that factors in the lifespan of the red blood cells. When the age-adjusted formula was incorporated into the A1C test in a study of more than 200 people with diabetes, errors were reduced by more than 50 percent. More-precise testing can lead to greater personalized diabetes treatment, but the researchers say additional studies are needed before the revised test can be widely adapted.
Source: Science Translational Medicine, Oct. 5, 2016