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The relationship between blood glycosylated haemoglobin and home capillary blood glucose levels in diabetics

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Serial capillary blood glucose levels from insulin treated patients were recorded over 24 hour periods at fortnightly intervals for three months. Total glycosylated haemoglobin as % of HbA was measured at the end of this period by the Flückiger method, and % HbA1 by column chromatography. There were highly significant correlations between mean blood glucose levels over the three months and % HbA1 (r=0.93, 95% confidence limits 0.84–0.98), and with total glycosylated haemoglobin (r=0.88, 95% confidence limits 0.75–0.94). There was also a good correlation between results obtained by the two methods (r=0.81, p<0.0001). There were less strong correlations between % HbA1 and blood glucose levels during each of the three months before the estimation, with percentage of glucose levels greater than 10 mmol/l and with mean fasting blood glucose. These data support the hypothesis that % HbA1 and total glycosylated haemoglobin are satisfactory measurements of short term diabetic control.


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Paisey, R.B., Macfarlane, D.G., Sherriff, R.J. et al. The relationship between blood glycosylated haemoglobin and home capillary blood glucose levels in diabetics. Diabetologia 19, 31–34 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00258307

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Key words

  • Glycosylated haemoglobin
  • home blood glucose monitoring
  • diabetic control