What is the role of A1C testing in the workup of glucose intolerance disorders?

Updated: Jun 28, 2019
  • Author: Samuel T Olatunbosun, MD, FACP, FACE; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

The ADA has approved the use of the glycated hemoglobin  as an additional tool for the diagnosis of diabetes, based on HBA1C equal to or greater than 6.5%, with 5.7-6.4% categorized as prediabetes. [1] However, the WHO does not recognize HbA1C aa a diagnostic test for diabetes or IFG or IGT [3]  HBA1C testing alone may not always be sufficient in detecting presence of glucose intolerance and primarily serves as an index of the severity of hyperglycemia throughout the 6-8 weeks that precede the measurement. [41]  Obtaining at least fasting plasma glucose levels along with HBA1C measurement is probably prudent when screening an individual for glucose intolerance. The HBA1C is highly specific as evidence of chronic hyperglycemia. It is a predictor of chronic complications. [42]


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