American Clinical Laboratory Association lauds ADA's recommendation of HbA1C test for diabetes

Convenience of non-fasting diabetes test could encourage testing

The American Clinical Laboratory Association's Results for Life Campaign today applauded the American Diabetes Association for its decision to recommend the hemoglobin A1C laboratory test as a means of diagnosing diabetes and identifying pre-diabetes.

The new ADA clinical practice recommendation was published as a supplement to the January issue of Diabetes Care.

"This recommendation will help in the battle against diabetes because the HbA1C test, unlike other tests, does not require individuals to fast ahead of time," said David Mongillo, Vice President of Policy and Medical Affairs for the American Clinical Laboratory Association. "We hope this increased convenience will allow more individuals to get tested and find out whether they are at risk."

The test has long been recommended as a way to monitor blood glucose levels for people who already have diabetes, but the new ADA recommendation encourages its use in diagnosing new cases as well.

Other benefits of the test besides eliminating the need for fasting include its reliability in identifying the elevated glucose levels that signal pre-diabetes--a condition that often leads to full diabetes--and its ability to accurately predict heart and other cardiovascular problems that develop from diabetes.

Early identification of the signs of diabetes enables changes in lifestyle and diet that can often delay, or even prevent, diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program of the National Institutes of Health found that people who were pre-diabetic could lower their risk of diabetes by 58% through weight loss, dietary changes, and greater exercise.

SOURCE American Clinical Laboratory Association

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