Diabetes is a major health concern in the United Stated affecting 29.1 millions or about 9.3% of the population with new diagnosis of 1.7 millions in 2012 (ADA, 2014). According to ADA, there are about 8.1 millions undiagnosed diabetic patients in the US. With this figure, it is important that we have a proper tool to diagnose diabetes accurately. This will help to devise a proper intervention if the disease is diagnosed easily and accurately.
Person with diabetes are unable to use and store glucose, which then stays in that person’s bloodstream and causes blood glucose level to rise. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is called adolescent diabetes or insulin-subordinate diabetes, where body does not create any insulin. Individuals with sort 1 diabetes must take insulin day by day. Type 1 diabetes generally happens in kids. In the US, five percent of total diabetes patients suffer from type 1 diabetes according to American Diabetes Association. Daily insulin intake with other medication as needed is the treatment of choice for type 1 diabetes patients. In type 2 diabetes, body does not create enough insulin or is not able to utilize insulin as required. Commonly, type 2 diabetes occurs to people who are over 40. Not having or failure to utilize insulin leads to higher blood glucose level, which could damage kidney, heart, eyes, and nerves. Management of type 2 diabetes is complicated. Early diagnosis is important so that proper control and intervention can be done to avoid further damage of organs (ADA, 2014)
Person with diabetes will show common symptoms but for laboratory test will confirm the disease. Laboratory testing of person’s blood is important. There are several types of blood tests that can be done to find out blood glucose level of the patient. “Conventionally, blood glucose levels measured either in the fasting state or following a standard glucose load have formed the basis for diagnosis of diabetes (Florkowski, 2013).” Blood glucose level could be misleading especially when patients haven’t eaten or are ill (ADA, 2014). So, taking a blood glucose sample at a particular time instead of averaging out over time will not give a correct glucose reading. HbA1C test as a laboratory tool for diagnosing the diabetes have proven to be more precise and conclusive and reflective of the person’s glucose level over time.
According to Florkowski, HbA1C provides an information of chronic glucose level instead of a single point in time. It provides an integrated reference of glucose over the lifespan of red blood cells, which is 120 days. “It therefore seems logical that such a test would be appropriate in diagnosing a disease characterised by chronic hyperglycaemia and a gradual progression to complications (Florkowski, 2013).” Also, the test itself is very convenient for patients because they do not have to fast and a single test is sufficient.
Florkowski presents a massive study with 44623 participants aged 20-78 with retinal photographs to show that HbA1C test is as effective as or better than other glucose tests. The study analyzed the relationship between diabetic specific retinopathy and three blood glucose measures. The study found that fasting plasma glucose and Hba1c have slender edge runs inside which event of diabetes-particular retinopathy starts to increment impressively. The occurrence of retinopathy was small with HbA1C prevention measures can be done at early stage of the disease and complications related to diabetes can be reduced.
American Diabetes Association. (2010). Retrieved from www.diabetes.org on November 9, 2014. Florkowski, Chris (2013), HbA1C as a Diagnostic Test for Diabetes Mellitus – Reviewing the Evidence, Clin Biochem Rev., 34(2): 75–83.