A new study from the United States has found that diabetes patients that are suffering from end-stage renal disease could have the monitoring of their glucose levels adversely affected by dialysis.
It was also shown that monitoring using haemoglobin A1c and serum glucose testing was not able to consistently predict either survival or the need for hospital visits, but that a new measure, using glycated albumi, did. While the team have already shown that haemoglobin A1c can be falsely low for patients on dialysis, it is still recommended by the American Diabetes Association for clinical monitoring and diabetes diagnosis.
The new research, which was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, involved monitoring 444 patients with diabetes that were receiving dialysis treatment for end-stage renal disease over a 2.33-year period.
It revealed that low haemoglobin A1c may not reflect more effective longer-term glucose control, maybe due to the fact that the red blood cells can’t last as long due to factors such as blood loss during dialysis and anaemia. However, albumin did have a normal life span during dialysis. It is hoped the new test will become an increasingly attractive alternative for dialysis patients with diabetes.
The research stated “Haemoglobin A1c may be a better marker for hospitalisation in the general population than in end-stage renal disease because of differences in red blood cell survival.”

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