Delay announced for change in diabetes HbA1c measurement

A change to the date for the introduction of a new reference measurement for reporting HbA1c has been proposed by the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC). The changeover, from using a percentage units measurement to that of millimoles per mol (mmol/mol), will now come into effect on October 1 this year rather than June 1, as was originally proposed.
The delay to the changeover from reporting HbA1c in percentage units for monitoring glucose control over the previous two or three months was called for by clinicians and biochemists who were worried that the new measurement numbers were still not being widely enough used or understood by diabetes patients .
Laboratories in the UK have been using both measurements for the last couple of years, when the proposed move was agreed, to allow those using the HbA1c test to get used to how the results will be reported in the future. IFCC have called for the new measurement to become standard around the world, making the comparing of HbA1c results from different testing and trials much easier.
Simon O’Neill, director of care and policy at the charity Diabetes UK, stated “It is regrettable that we have had to postpone this change but it is clear that the new numbers are not widely understood yet and making the change now could cause confusion for clinicians and patients.”
He added “However, this is a one-off delay, so it is important that we work hard to get the new numbers understood before the new cut off date on October 1 this year.”

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