Hemoglobin A1c as a Diagnostic Tool for Diabetes

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HEMOGLOBIN A1C AS A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL FOR DIABETES Zhang et al. (2012) discuss the use of hemoglobin A1C as a diagnostic tool for diabetes and pre-diabetes. Their study explains the adoption in 2010 of the hemoglobin A1C test as a diagnostic tool by the American Diabetes Association and the World Health Organization. Their study shows that hemoglobin A1C testing can be used together with glucose level monitoring to diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes in adults. They identify some advantages of the hemoglobin A1C test in that it acts as a biological marker and so maybe able to detect changes better than periodic testing tools. There is also no need to undergo fasting prior to the test. This aspect of the hemoglobin A1C test has important nursing implications because it will make it more convenient for people to opt for this screening tool, which will place added demands on the nursing staff for administering the test. Individuals are typically diagnosed for diabetes when the hemoglobin A1C level is 6.5% or above. The authors conducted screening for diabetes in southern Chinese communities using the fasting plasma glucose diagnostic test along with the HBA1c test. The use of the HBA1c n test was found to increase the percentage of residents at risk of diabetes by unmasking differences that could not be explained by other diagnostic tests. The findings of their study revealed that the prevalence of diabetes in rural China had increased considerably, primarily due to an aging
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