New Delhi : Trivitron Healthcare, the largest medical technology company of Indian origin, in association with Sebia hosted a Symposium on the updates of HbA1c measurement to highlight the relevance of the topic. HbA1c is one of the latest diagnostic diabetes tools most nations have started adopting as a supplement to the existing blood glucose test.
HbA1c is the glycated haemoglobin which develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body, joins with glucose in the blood, becoming ‘glycated’. HbA1c is measured primarily to identify the three-month average plasma glucose concentration. By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians are able to get an overall picture of what the average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months. For people with diabetes, this is important as the higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. By measuring HbA1c, doctors get an overall picture of a patient’s blood glucose level over a period of weeks/months. In contrast to the regular fasting glucose test, which is an indication of one’s current glucose levels, HbA1c is more accurate and serves as an overall marker of one’s average levels over a longer time period.
With as many as 50 million people suffering from type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus), India has more people living with the disease than any other nation in the world. If left unattended and untreated, diabetes can lead to severe health complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney disorders, retinopathy (cause of blindness) neuropathy or nerve damage leading to leg amputation and even blindness. As per the recent guidelines, HbA1c should be added as a means of diagnosing diabetes and identifying pre-diabetes.
A number of techniques are used to measure hemoglobin A1c. The HbA1c result is calculated as a ratio to total hemoglobin by using a chromatogram, Immunoassay, Enzymatic, Capillary Electrophoresis & HPLC. There are many factors that may interfere with HbA1c measurement like Uremia (carbamylated Hb), hemoglobin variants, drugs, opiates, bilirubin, triglyceride, alcohol. Interference of most common variants HbS, HbC, HbE, HbD has been a challenge to measure accurate value of HbA1c.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr David Sacks, Expert in Clinical Chemistry said, “Considering the importance of diabetes as a major health issue globally, timely diagnosis and early initiation of appropriate treatment need to be viewed as a key priority. HbA1c is a proven method to make diagnosis more convenient, accurate and high-speed. Worldwide 1 in 2 people with diabetes is undiagnosed. It is the need of the hour to bring in a diagnostic tool like HbA1c, which is known for delivering accurate results in a short span of time, to be made more accessible and affordable to the common man.”
Garry John, Expert in Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology, added, “Ever since the American Diabetes Association recommended HbA1c as a diabetes diagnostic tool in its clinical practice recommendations (2010), many other progressive nations including Europe an countries followed suit. Countries like New Zealand and more recently, Malayasia have also adopted HbA1c to be an effective tool to reflect glucose levels. With the alarming incidence of diabetes and diabetes-related health complications in India, it would be beneficial the nation employs such efficient technologies for a better management of the disease.”
Mr. Nitin Sawant, Senior Vice President, Trivitron Healthcare said, “Diabetes is the most talked about lifestyle disorder in India today. Declining rates of physical activity coupled with an increasing eating-out culture has led to an early onset of diabetes in many. However, with the right technology, we should be able to tackle the menace more effectively. Trivitron has always stood for cutting-edge technology which will enable cost-effective healthcare delivery solutions to the Indian masses. With appropriate awareness on HbA1c, we hope we can promote this globally-accepted technology as an efficient way to monitor diabetes accurately in India too.”
This symposium is an effort to inform, educate and share experiences to understand the benefits on the importance of optimal Hba1c measurement and the way forward in India.