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## HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

### HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

Hi all, on 1 October 2011, the units for measuring HbA1c numbers are set to change from the % value that a lot of us are used to to mmol/mol.

As an example - an HbA1c value of 6.5% is 48 mmol/mol in the new measurement.

The conversion is a bit complicated for most of us so we've got a calculator that will do the conversion work for you.

Use the conversion calculator here
http://www.diabetes.co.uk/hba1c-units-converter.html
I'm part of the forum support team at Diabetes.co.uk - I'll be around to help out on the forum. If you need support, please feel free to contact me.

People with type 2 deserve the chance to test their blood glucose levels.

benedict

Posts: 533
Joined: September 29th, 2010, 9:16 am
Location: Coventry

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

Thank you Benedict.

Is there any chance you could increase the precision level of the calculator?

When coverting from mmol/mol to % (as many of us will have to when we get our HbA1c results) I get the following:
37 mmol/mol = 5%
38 mmol/mol = 6%
39 mmol/mol = 6%
40 mmol/mol = 6%
41 mmol/mol = 6%
42 mmol/mol = 6%
43 mmol/mol = 6%
44 mmol/mol = 6%
45 mmol/mol = 6%
46 mmol/mol = 6%
47 mmol/mol = 6%
48 mmol/mol = 7%

There is a big difference between 47 mmol/mol and 38 mmol/mol but according to this calculator they are all worth a 6% in old money.

I'm not being deliberately predantic, but since many of us fight for every 0.1% reduction in HbA1c, this makes a confusing change even more confusing.

borofergie

Posts: 2989
Joined: April 2nd, 2011, 12:05 pm
Location: North London (home), West London (work)

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

Oh cripes, that's no good at all. Thanks borofergie.

Give us a day or two and this should be fixed.
I'm part of the forum support team at Diabetes.co.uk - I'll be around to help out on the forum. If you need support, please feel free to contact me.

People with type 2 deserve the chance to test their blood glucose levels.

benedict

Posts: 533
Joined: September 29th, 2010, 9:16 am
Location: Coventry

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

Hi guys - glad to say it's fixed - giving results to 4 decimal places.

Posts: 760
Joined: April 4th, 2008, 9:47 am

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

Administrator wrote:Hi guys - glad to say it's fixed - giving results to 4 decimal places.

I just noticed. Thanks Benedict! It's too accurate now

borofergie

Posts: 2989
Joined: April 2nd, 2011, 12:05 pm
Location: North London (home), West London (work)

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

Dont know why anyone would want to know to one ten thousandth (4 decimal places)!

I noticed that each increase or decrease (0.1%) on the HBA1c scale is worth (with rounding) 1.1 points on the new scale.

6.0 = 42
6.1 = 43.1
6.2 = 44.2

and so on.

Yeah, I know that this theory is going to lose a decimal point somewhere eventually but it comes back again on the next number. hey ho!
johnny37

Posts: 38
Joined: January 27th, 2010, 12:59 pm

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

The question I would ask is this: why?

They've always got to fiddle around and tinker, haven't they. Managing the condition is hard enough without the medical profession making it more complicated.
ursus262

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

Bet we all convert back to % and report on here in that number for ages to come!
Type 2, diagnosed Nov 2010. HbA1c then 8.2%. Mar 2011, HbA1c 5.9%.Dec. 2011 5.9%. May 2012 5.7%

150-180grams carbs per day + exercise (mainly golf!). 2x500mg Metformin SR per day.
Support testing for T2s

Grazer

Posts: 3135
Joined: January 7th, 2011, 12:32 pm

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

I'll always ask for it in %, after 30 years I'm not going to change
''The Pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The Optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.''

Winston Churchill

Posts: 7276
Joined: August 22nd, 2008, 3:21 pm

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

Forget HbA1c value as a %
Accept the new mmol value.

Benefits: mmol will allow you to detect smaller ups and downs that would not show up in the % value.
PHARMANCO

Posts: 2
Joined: October 24th, 2012, 1:26 pm

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

PHARMANCO wrote:Forget HbA1c value as a %
Accept the new mmol value.

Benefits: mmol will allow you to detect smaller ups and downs that would not show up in the % value.

Ummmmm. I doubt it. The accuracy of the tests is the same, no matter what units, you're probably just observing rounding errors.

borofergie

Posts: 2989
Joined: April 2nd, 2011, 12:05 pm
Location: North London (home), West London (work)

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

I agree with Noblehead. A % figure is something you can visualise where a reading of mmol is basically meaningless at first glance. How many people remember how much a mole is from their chemistry at school?
joppie230261

Posts: 1
Joined: November 1st, 2012, 8:35 am

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

joppie230261 wrote:I agree with Noblehead. A % figure is something you can visualise where a reading of mmol is basically meaningless at first glance. How many people remember how much a mole is from their chemistry at school?

Welcome to the club no-one wants to join

I too agree. We can relate % directly to our finger-prick measurements (even though it is a different measurement), whereas the new figure is alien. I suspect it is an attempt to restrict info, rather than inform, so that we are increasingly in the hands of the health professionals.

Happily our hospital returns both units still. It's only an extra line on the computer that takes no effort on their part, but gives us useful info.
Type 2 in 2000, 3x500 metformin, reduced carb diet
HBA Jan 08 - 6.7, July 09 - 6.2, January 10 - 5.9, October 12 - 6.3
No diabetic complications.

IanD

Posts: 1898
Joined: April 7th, 2008, 9:50 pm
Location: Southall Middx.

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

I am quite confused now. My diabetic nurse has always told me my HbA1c in mmols. She recently told me it as a percentage and I was very confused. I think that a consistent approach is needed!
finntasticemma

Posts: 17
Joined: March 19th, 2012, 4:16 pm

### Re: HbA1c units changing 1 Oct

I too agree. We can relate % directly to our finger-prick measurements (even though it is a different measurement), whereas the new figure is alien. I suspect it is an attempt to restrict info, rather than inform, so that we are increasingly in the hands of the health professionals.

Britain is part of the world and it is the result of an International agreement. The changes are to reflect improvements in modern testing and to ensure international standardisation. New methods meant that the percentages given were not really accurate reflections .
http://www.ngsp.org/ifccngsp.asp
On top of that parts of the world including some parts of Scandanavia and Japan used methods that meant that their HbA1cs were not at all the same as those used elsewhere .(eg the Swedish Mono S HbA1c reads about 1% lower than the DCCT HbA1c formerly used in the UK and other parts of the world;)
Imagine the confusion that could cause when a person from Sweden moved to the UK
All HbA1c methods will now give the same result in the same units no matter where in the world the analysis is performed.

I cannot see why you think that there is an to restrict info anywhere; convertors are freely available in many places including the DUK website.
Here is a Swedish one, explaining the differences to that population. (note they have been using the new units for over 2 years now)
http://www.hba1c.nu/english.htm

There is also a proposal to also give estimated average glucose levels to patients . This hasn't been implemented in most countries (including the UK). There is some concern that these figures may not apply to all groups so countries like the UK are awaiting the results of further trials.

I think that the change may be beneficial in those countries such as the UK that use mmol/l There were people that did seem to equate their meter readings with their HbA1cs and of course they were not equivalent at all.
An HbA1c of say 5.7% is the equivalent of an estimated average glucose level of 6.5mmol/l (ie not an average in the 5s)
An HbA1c of 10% is the equivalent of an estimated average glucose of 13.4mmol/l (much more than an average of 10)

I live in a country where that type of confusion was never a possibility, my glucose is measured in mg/dl and the 5.7% reflects an average of 117mg/dl .

The new changes will affect all countries, some sooner than later.
It's just a new figure and eventually when they drop dual reporting people will get used to it, new people will never know the 'old' method.

phoenix

Posts: 3368
Joined: November 8th, 2008, 8:18 am
Location: France

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