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Confused about the numbers reported here

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by JayAmerican, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. JayAmerican

    JayAmerican · Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps this is something specific to the UK / Europe vs USA but I'm finding some people's references to their blood test numbers a little confusing yet it doesn't seem confusing to other readers. For example, someone reported a number of 48 for their HBA1C but I'm familiar with it being some % number like 5.6 or 9.2. Also some people reference their cholesterol readings using numbers that I can'c correlate an it makes understanding the person's post a bit harder as I don't know what reference scale they're using. Is there a resource that can translate these reported numbers for a global audience?

    Also, separately, I'm a little curious about the common usage of stones for weight. Since 1 stone is about 14 pounds, wouldn't it be more accurate to report in pounds?
     
  2. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This page: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/hba1c-units-converter.html can be used to convert between the two different scales, the DCCT is the one with the % (eg 6.5%), the IFCC (mmol/mol) is the newer one.

    1 stone is exactly 14 pounds and stones and pounds were used for many many years in the UK as how peoples weight was measured, most places (where you are likely to get weighed) now use kg, but measuring in stones and pounds is no less accurate than just pounds, but in the UK we aren't used to hearing about just pounds as weight for people (when using the imperial measurements) whereas I think in the US just pounds are used.

    Also note for the finger prick tests the UK and various other places use mmol/L, whereas the US and some other places use mg/dl (to convert between those two you need to divide the mg/dl number by 18 to get the mmol/L number)
     
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    #2 Rokaab, Nov 18, 2019 at 9:18 AM
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  3. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Try google. There's a load of calculators that transfer the different numbers to something you are familiar with. I'm guessing because this is a UK site, mostly the numbers will be what we use. Welcome from across the pond though (if you are from there given your username), we love the diversity as it highlights the various differences and approaches. x
     
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  4. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    I like this one for both hba1c and bg levels.
    (And I would love for the whole world to use kilo's for weight, Celsius or Kelvin for temperature, centimeters, meters and kilometers for distance, Beaufort for windspeed, even though that scale is quite illogical, and wouldn't use billion for our miljard. But they won't, so I'll have to use a conversion table or formula sometimes.)

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    This page contains conversion calculators for a whole range of lab test results.(It's important to realise that dividing mg/dL by 18 to get results in mmol/L ONLY applies to glucose results.Other substances have different conversion factors.) https://www.amamanualofstyle.com/page/si-conversion-calculator

    One stone is exactly 14 lbs. The older generation in the UK will understand immediately what you mean if you give a weight in stones and pounds as that is what they've been brought up with. If you say that someone weights 180 lbs for example, most people in the UK will not have any idea whether that is high, medium or low. However, if you said 12 stone 12 lbs (exactly the same weight) people would be able to picture what that represents. A similar comparison would be between pounds and ounces and just ounces. Most people (and I'm assuming the same is true in the US) would not be able to picture a 128 oz baby but an 8 lb baby is easy.

    Edited to add 'by 18'
     
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    #5 Dark Horse, Nov 18, 2019 at 1:55 PM
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  6. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    An easy way to mentally convert prick test blood glucose values is to know that 1mmol/l (uk) is 18.5 American units.
    If you round it up to 20, it makes for a very quick rough and ready calc.

    For example:
    5mmol/l = approx 100mg/dL
    obviously this gets less accurate the bigger the numbers, but as a quick reckoner it stands me in good stead.
     
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  7. mouseee

    mouseee · Well-Known Member

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    Can't cope with pounds only as weight! I have to divide by 14 and that makes my brain hurt after a long day at work!

    We use stone and pounds. So you might weigh 12 stone 4 lbs for example. We do round to the nearest stone sometimes!
     
  8. JayAmerican

    JayAmerican · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies & the chart. The interesting thing about my A1C (US version) came back as 9.8 with an average sugar level of 212 mg/DL which doesn't match this chart. My current tested average is 163 I've been tracking and the app I'm using charts that as 7.9 or 8.0 which more closely matches the test I did. So the chart seems off since based on this chart I'd have been diagnosed as 11.7 and not 9.8. Both numbers suck but I think I'll go with the lab's report as definitive.
     
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  9. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but have you modified your diet and/or started meds since the previous hba1c was done...?:)
     
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  10. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I found quite often that my HbA1c would come back a fair bit higher than all my tech was predicting. Turned out the blood meter I was using (and calibrating my CGM to) read artificially low, as many do to keep us from being hypo. So we think we’re running lower numbers that we actually are. I changed the code on my meter from the “official” one to the one recommenced by a bunch of complete strangers on the internet*, and my last HbA1c from the lab was identical to the one predicted by my CGM app.

    *not as random as it sounds, it’s an Facebook support group for people using the same system as me ;)
     
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  11. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    I do sympathise. When I first entered this world, I really struggled with the various ways of presenting blood glucose numbers. I am not very numerate and dealing with finger prick tests versus (Hb)A1c AND two completely different ways of presenting each blew my mind. Add to that the different lines in the sand as to what counts as normal, diabetes and pre-diabetes in the UK, US and other countries (some of which I believe don't recognise the pre-diabetes category at all - for them you are either diabetic or normal). And then the questions around diet and all the initials - VLC, LCHF, OMAD etc etc. I am just hoping all this mental exercise is warding off Alzheimer's!
     
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  12. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    According to Dr Bernstein http://www.diabetes-book.com no home bg meters are accurate at high bg levels. So I agree that you are better off trusting your A1c. But I would bear in mind that as far as I know ALL methods of measuring bg are pretty inaccurate, including those done in labs. However they are all we have and can give us a precious indication over time as to what is going on and what steps we might need to take.
     
  13. Alexandra100

    Alexandra100 Prefer not to say · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much for this - extremely useful and just what I was wanting for evaluating cholesterol readings.
     
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  14. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    My hba1c blood test results come back in both % and mmol/mol, my daily bgl are in mmol/l which is basically the standard except for the US.

    My weight is metric kilograms, which is easy to convert back into imperial or imperial back into kgs in my head.
     
  15. Mike D

    Mike D Type 2 · Expert

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    @JayAmerican ... with respect to weights, the United States are almost alone in the world in sticking with stones / pounds. We (Australia) converted to metric in 1966. The one exception to that introduction that I hate is height. Far prefer feet and inches, not centimetres.
     
  16. JayAmerican

    JayAmerican · Well-Known Member

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    Yes pretty extremely for me and I haven't even taking it to optimal meal plans yet.
     
  17. JayAmerican

    JayAmerican · Well-Known Member

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    Just like any stat, tracking changes is most important. I know that there is a norm and established thresholds but humans are all different and what may be healthy for some would be unhealthy for others.I think whenever issues are diagnosed a holistic approach is best. Meaning for example unless something like liver disease is very obvious, multiple body signals should also be looked at - digestive, nails, scalp, skin, eyes, gums, weight, BMI, body fat %, etc.
     
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