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HbA1c test results - what does "percentage" mean - of what?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by LezLezLez, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. LezLezLez

    LezLezLez Type 2 · Member

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    I have been hunting to find an explanation of what the "percentage" result means for a HbA1c test result with no conclusion. A typical figure is 7% but 7% of what? Thanks for any inputs.
     
  2. hankjam

    hankjam Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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  3. Hiitsme

    Hiitsme Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  4. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    I think it is slightly more complicated than this, but it's the percentage of your blood cells which are glycated, that is they have a sugar molecule attached to them.
    Sally
     
  5. LezLezLez

    LezLezLez Type 2 · Member

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  6. LezLezLez

    LezLezLez Type 2 · Member

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    Hi Sally - thanks for your perfectly clear answer.
     
  7. hankjam

    hankjam Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    pedants are good...
    I actually broke one of my golden rules by posting links without explanation...
    Units of HbA1c have changed in the UK.
    As you now know the proportion of hemoglobin that is glycolated, has a sugar attached, used to be mmol / mol, mmol of hemoglobin with sugar attached to mols of hemoglobin, which I liked. They've now changed it to a percent, which I don't, % is not a SI unit...
     
  8. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    A % is a universal mathematical statement. The "old" SI units are, as stated above, mmol per mol. The first "m" means a "milli", which means a one thousandth. A "mol" is a special unit of measurement, pronounced "mole", so, unless scientifically trained, you can read it as, "a certain number of very tiny little bits of something in a bigger bit of something". The important thing is to get used to the numbers and what is high, what is low and what is acceptable. After all, none of us look in our wallets and think what percentage the contents are of the Gross Domestic Product, we just calculate if we have enough to see us through 'til Friday.
    Sally
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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