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Importance of the chart

Because diabetics test their blood on glucose monitors several times a day they come to intimately understand the readings (mg/dl) and what the numbers mean.  

On the other hand, quarterly lab tests (which use a very different scale) are far less understood.  This is true even though the lab test (HbA1c) is a better gauge of how well diabetes and its consequences are being controlled.  

Daily testing is affected by many factors and is subject to considerable variation, but the HbA1c test reflects a diabetic's average condition over a three month period.  It is thus important for the diabetic to understand his or her lab result just as well as readings taken at home.  

The printable chart puts HbA1c in the context of readings from a home monitor.  This is helpful not only because it makes HbA1c easier to relate to, but also because it demonstrates how even seemingly small increases on the HbA1c scale can spell trouble.  For example, moving from 6.2 to 7.5 (Hba1c) is the same as moving from 131 to 169 on a home monitor.


Last updated August 3, 2011

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