Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

HbA1c changes

The Department of Health has announced a phased transition in the way the HbA1c results are reported in the United Kingdom.

The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) has called for adoption of a global standard to allow easier comparison of results produced in different laboratories and countries.

Until 31 May 2011 results will be available using the existing percentage scale and the new millimoles per mol scale. After this date only the latter will be reported. DiabetesUK have also made a conversion tool available. Some common conversions are as follows:

  • 6.0% is equivalent to 42 mmol/mol
  • 6.5% is equivalent to 48 mmol/mol
  • 7.0% is equivalent to 53 mmol/mol
  • 7.5% is equivalent to 59 mmol/mol
  • 8.0% is equivalent to 64 mmol/mol
  • 9.0% is equivalent to 75 mmol/mol

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this transition. Patient education materials may need updating and it should be made clear that the higher number in the result does not necessarily indicate poor control.

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