Friday, September 14, 2007

A1C is Important, says everyone

So I was reading up on some diabetes news yesterday and I found out that the Ad Council, ADA, JDRF, AADE and NCLR are "launching the first ever national public education campaign geared to raise awareness of A1C."

Now that's a nice string of acronyms I just typed out there... but A1C?
"A1C is an important tool to reduce the risk of deadly complications like heart attack and stroke." (simply states the press release)
Ohhhh.... Now being new to everything here, I'm still not entirely sure what the A1C is, but I'm pretty sure it's a big deal. I've also been familiarizing myself with the diabetes online blogging community and I definitely seen A1C mentioned every now and then in some popular blogs. That warrants a little more research on my end.

For now, at least I know that 7% is the magic number everyone aims for.

So if you happen to be reading this blog and have diabetes, I have a question for you: "Do you actively keep track of your A1C?"

Here are a few useful links regarding A1C (that I have yet to read):


Scott said...

Actually, a glycosated hemoglobin (e.g. A1c) reading of 7.0 would be considered non-diabetic, and most practitioners acknowledge that although that would be ideal, its largely unattainable given current treatment modalities, particularly for the type 1 audience who has impaired counterregulatory function, thus less protection from dangerous low induced by non-physiologically delivered insulin.

Above all else, A1c is useless by itself, it must be added to education or it is just a useless test. Also, the A1c cannot be used in a vacuum, a person suffering from various ailments (kidney disease being one) cannot hope to meet the low levels of ideal treatment without serious risk to their health, and whats more, the whole point of glycemic control are lost on those people ... to do what, prevent kidney damage?

In spite of having similar names, type 1 and type 2 are not the same disease, and the have a completely different etiology. While there are a handful of overlapping issues, most are decidedly different in the two groups of patients, and anyone hoping to market products to these groups needs to learn this lesson very early.

RichW said...

If diabetics are looking for a way to monitor their disease, the best way is to wear a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device that maintains a record of our intracellular glucose concentrations. This information could then be used to provide us with a more accurate picture of our treatment. For instance, the A1c doesn't tell me anything about my levels two hours after a meal or what my levels are doing just before I wake. Of course this means we would have to be able to afford to purchase and use a CGM devise. There's a rub.

RichW said...

I think the misspelling "devise" was a Freudian slip. Wouldn't I like to devise a way to afford and use a CGM device.