A Simple, Fast Test Can Diagnose Diabetes
April 5, 2012 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
BETHESDA, Md., (UPI) – About one-quarter of U.S. adults who have diabetes don’t know they have it, but simple tests can diagnose the disease, a U.S. physician said.
Dr. David Sacks of the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, one important test is the A1C, which measures how much sugar, or glucose, there is on proteins in blood cells. The test can estimate a person’s average blood sugar over several months because it measures the sugar glucose attached to a specific blood protein, hemoglobin, which stays in the blood about three months, Sacks explained.
A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c, Sacks said.
Sacks said the usual blood tests for glucose require at least an 8-hour fast, but the A1C does not.
“Because hemoglobin AIC is not affected by short-term glucose in the blood, you can measure it at any time of the day and whenever the patient arrives, regardless of the time of their previous meal,” Sacks said in a statement.
The Mayo Clinic said for a person who doesn’t have diabetes, a normal A1C level can range from 4.5 percent to 6 percent, but someone who’s had uncontrolled diabetes for a long time might have an A1C level of 9 percent or higher.