HbA1c equally useful across ethnic groups

News-medical: October 26, 2012

Currently recommended clinical cutoff points for diabetes diagnosis using glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) should be interpreted similarly in Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics, show findings from a US study.

“We found no evidence that ethnic group modified the relative association of HbA1c with prevalent retinopathy,” say Elizabeth Selvin (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) and colleagues.

“These results should help alleviate concerns regarding the use of HbA1c for diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes in diverse populations.”

Current clinical diagnostic categories for HbA1c are largely based on the established association between HbA1c and retinopathy as well as trials demonstrating that lowering HbA1c can reduce microvascular complications. However, recent studies have raised concerns that the performance of HbA1c may differ in certain subpopulations and that new recommendations might be problematic in individuals of non-European ancestry, explain Selvin et al. Read more