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HbA1c Testing: The Gold Standard for Diabetes Monitoring

Published on June 2024

Diabetes in Pakistan 

Pakistan faces an immense health crisis with over 30 million diabetics - the highest rate in the world. Diagnosing the problem the majority of cases go undiagnosed due to lack of awareness and limited access to healthcare. HbA1c testing can help change that by providing an accurate diabetes diagnosis. This simple blood test measures your average blood sugar levels over the previous 3 months, allowing doctors to determine if you have prediabetes or diabetes. 

The costs of mismanagement 

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications like heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. Regular HbA1c testing helps gauge how well your treatment plan is working so medications and lifestyle changes can be adjusted. For diabetics, an HbA1c level under 7% is considered well-managed. 

Making testing accessible 

While HbA1c tests are common in developed nations, they remain scarce in Pakistan, especially in rural areas. Increased availability of HbA1c testing at an affordable cost is urgently needed. Some companies now produce low-cost, portable HbA1c testing kits that provide results in just 5 minutes using a small blood sample. Wider adoption of these innovative solutions could transform diabetes management in Pakistan. 

What Is HbA1c Testing? 

The HbA1c test is the gold standard for monitoring diabetes. It measures the percentage of your hemoglobin that has glucose attached to it, giving you an average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months. 

Glucose in the blood binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells. By measuring how much glucose is attached to your hemoglobi, the HbA1c test shows your average blood sugar control over time. 

Why HbA1c is Important 

Unlike blood glucose tests that only provide a snapshot of your blood sugar at a single point in time, HbA1c gives you the bigger picture. It can detect changes and patterns that may not be obvious from day to day blood sugar checks alone. The HbA1c test is also convenient since it requires only a single blood draw. 

HbA1c Target Levels 

For most diabetics, an HbA1c level of less than 7% is considered good control. However, your doctor may recommend a different target based on factors like your age and any complications you may have. The higher your HbA1c level is above the target, the greater your risk of diabetes complications. So work with your doctor to determine the right HbA1c goal for you and the best strategies to achieve it. 

Why HbA1c Is the Gold Standard for Diabetes Testing 

HbA1c testing is considered the gold standard for monitoring diabetes because it provides an accurate measure of your average blood sugar levels over the previous 2-3 months. Unlike daily fingerstick blood sugar checks, HbA1c gives you and your doctor the “big picture” of your diabetes management. 

It correlates with health risks. 

HbA1c levels correspond directly to the risk of diabetes complications like kidney disease, nerve damage, and cardiovascular disease. Lowering your HbA1c can help reduce health risks and prevent long-term damage. The American Diabetes Association recommends most diabetics aim for an HbA1c of less than 7%. 

It’s a reliable indicator. 

Since HbA1c reflects your average blood sugar over weeks and months, it’s not subject to the daily ups and downs of blood sugar monitoring. A single high or low blood sugar reading could be misleading, but HbA1c provides a dependable measure of overall control and the effectiveness of your treatment plan. 

It can prompt medication changes. 

If your HbA1c starts climbing, it signals your doctor that your current medications may need adjustment. Rather than reacting to daily blood sugar spikes, HbA1c allows for a measured, long-term approach to medication management. HbA1c is a useful tool for ensuring the proper type and dosage of drugs to keep your diabetes in check. 

It leads to better outcomes. 

Numerous studies show that frequent HbA1c testing, at least two to four times per year, leads to improved health outcomes for people with diabetes. Keeping a close eye on your HbA1c and working with your doctor to make timely changes in treatment and lifestyle will help you gain better control of your diabetes and live well for years to come. 

In summary, HbA1c should be an important part of your ongoing diabetes care. When used properly, it’s a reliable gauge of your health risks, a guide for medication management, and a tool for staying on the path to better health. For diabetics, HbA1c testing truly is the gold standard. 

The Lifotronic H8, H9, and GH900 HbA1c Analyzers are available at Briogene. 

The fully automated H8 Hemoglobin Analyzer reports HbA1c results in 130 seconds, with Hb variant recognition. It provides an outstanding solution for quick and reliable diabetic monitoring. There’s no sample preparation required, and it operates as a walk-away system. Samples with Hb variants can be thoroughly analyzed using the β-Thalassemia program. The HbA1c mode and Thalassaemia mode are both available on the same platform. With just one click, you can start the analysis, and there’s no need for sample preparation or manual intervention. The Standard Analysis Mode reports HbA1a, HbA1b, HbF, HbA1c, P3, HbA0 peak areas, and ratios. Additionally, the results include IFCC, NGSP, and ADAG values to meet diverse client needs. 

The fully automated H9 Hemoglobin Analyzer delivers HbA1c results as fast as 1.6 minutes, with Hb variant recognition. It’s an excellent solution for quick and reliable diabetic monitoring. By simply changing the mode to the β-Thalassemia program, you can analyze samples with hemoglobin variants in-depth. The HbA1c mode and Thalassaemia mode are both available on the same platform. The analyzer supports continuous sample loading with a 110-sample loader, allowing for emergency sample insertion and testing at any time. It effectively eliminates background signal interference. 

The compact-sized, fully automated GH-900Plus HbA1c Analyzer occupies less than 0.16m² of space. It is GSP and IFCC certified, handling up to 5 samples at a time. The analyzer reports HbA1c results in 130 seconds, with Hb variant recognition. It’s an outstanding solution for reliable diabetic monitoring, offering higher precision with a CV of less than 1.5% and accurate variant recognition. 

For more information, please feel free to contact us.


Briogene Pvt Ltd is a member of Getz Healthcare. Briogene is a diversified healthcare solution provider. The company offers broad range of established & innovative products for use in the fields of medical diagnostics, treatment and disease management. Learn more