Is there a standard A1c equivalent for blood glucose (mg/dl)?

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LanieG
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 7/13/2007 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
From several online sources, I've found some discrepancies in these equivalents and I'm wondering if any of you know if there is a definitive list for these.  For example, two sources say that A1c 5.0 = 90 mg/dL but another one says A1c 5.0 = 101.  That's quite a difference, and when you also consider that our individual glucose monitors have an acceptable error range of about 10 to 15 points (I'm not sure on that figure, sorry.), can we ever know the correct reading?  Of the 3 monitors I now have, there are differences up to 15 points between at least two of them - and not always the same two!  I realize the best we can do is use the monitor to see trends but I'd like to know about the A1c equivalents.  Anyone know?  Thanks.  (Supposedly, there's an international commission charged with standardizing the A1c readings but when will this happen?)
Lanie
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 7/13/2007 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lanie,
Dr Bernstein has a piece in his book where he talks about a formula he devised based on the thousands of tests he carried out on his patients. He claims that an HgbA1c of 5 equates to an average blood sugar of 100mg/dl (5.5mmol/l) and that every 1% above that level represents an additional 40mg/dl (2.2mmol/l) blood sugar increase.
That's enough to persuade me that the 6 / 7% levels I used to run, which my doctors told me was good control, was anything but!

All the best,

fergusc

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 7/13/2007 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Fergusc, thanks for replying.  I haven't gotten to that part in his book yet.  However, I'm wondering what the labs here as well as other countries use to determine the A1c values.  If they said the A1c 5 = 100 mg/dL, then the 6 to 7 range would be really high.  Dr. Bernstein is using his own formula but if the labs are not using the same one, then his own figures wouldn't have much bearing on the lab industries' value.  It's confusing.  For instance, I had a 5.6 back in May - but what is that really equal to in mg/dL as far as the way the labs work?  Do you see what I mean? 
confused    Lanie
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 7/13/2007 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
According to the good doctor B, a 5.6 would be around 120 somethingish/sort of/maybe.

My doctor told me that at 5.5 a person was "free" from risk complications although I know Dr. B says otherwise. BUT ... a 5.6 is a GREAT A1C!
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 7/13/2007 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, Ruth, I've very glad for the 5.6 because in January it was 6.6.  But - I doubt that my average numbers were 120.  That is , according to Dr. B is was 120 but the lab industry is not using his values.  That's what I mean.  There needs to be only ONE way to figure what the A1c really is.  One place says A1c 5.0 is one number but another place says it's 10 points higher (or lower)!  That's the confusion and frustration I have.  Other than that, life is grand.  devil
Lanie
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 7/13/2007 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Do you know what YOUR lab uses as a standard? I guess that would be the most helpful information.

But I certainly would agree with you that it must be very frustrating. We work so hard to get our numbers down .... that if the scale keeps changing all our work becomes less meaningful.
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


Dead Man walking
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 7/13/2007 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Great thread! Thanks.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 7/14/2007 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ruth, the lab our doctor's office uses is Quest Diagnostics.  On their lab report the only information is by parameters for what's "normal".  So, Fasting Glucose is "65 - 99 mg/dL", and the A1C is "non-diabetic: <6.0%".   So you see, my point is to know just what 6.0 is to them?  If there's no "industry" standard as to what is considered, then we're in the dark.  Two sources I found says 6.0 = 120; another one says 6.0 = 136.  Big difference.  Why should there be a completely different measure?  Why not simply use the blood glucose number?

Lanie



"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 7/14/2007 10:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know the name of the lab my doctor uses ... but I know she said "non-diabetic" is 5.5 and below. Everything I've read online says 5 = 100 mg/dl. There does seem to be variation between what = a percent either way though.
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 7/14/2007 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't forget that labs use different instruments to analyze your blood and compute the results. Those blood analyzers have a range of accuracy just like your glucose meter does-even if the whole world decided to standardize the formula for calculating A1c- you'd still have to consider the precision and accuracy of the blood analyzer used by each lab.
 
And fergusc- you are so right! A1cs over 5 show that you are, at best, in the prediabetic range, and research is starting to come in that shows the beginnings of retinopathy and neuropathy at those levels. Couple this with the fact that even children are starting to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, and the progressive nature of diabetes- you have a recipe for long term complications in a large portion of the population.  When folks are diagnosed in the 100 - 125 range at older ages, they might only develop mild complications, but live with that for 40 or 50 years and you don't have a chance to escape. sandy
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett

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