I just read this morning in a Diabetes New Zealand publication about a new way of expressing A1c measurements. I didn’t know there was a move around the world to change this system. With some google searches I found that the current percentage system common in the US is known as the DCCT (the landmark study Diabetes Control and Complication Trial) system.
A quick read on the Diabetes UK webpage claimed that the UK move to the new system will make diabetes data interchange between Europe and the UK simpler. Apparently New Zealand is moving to align itself with the UK and Europe.
Here’s the conversion chart:
The DCCT system is the top line expressed as a percentage. The bottom line is the mmol/l (millmoles per liter) number that shows up on European and Canadian fingerstick meters. The middle line is the new A1c measure in IFCC (International Federation of Clinical Chemistry) units expressed in mmol/mol (millmoles per mole).
When I think about it, a simple percentage seems to be the best way for the common and non-scientific community to communicate this measure. It’s a concept easily grasped. I know the scientists and researchers need mathematically precise measures but why do they need to persuade us to change something that doesn’t add any value to our health or lives?
I also think that most Americans think the world should revolve around us. We continue to be holdouts in changing to the metric system, a better system in my opinion. Well, I now know that my 6.0% A1c can be expressed as 42.1 mmol/mol and is equivalent to an average BG of 7.0 mmol/L on the fingerstick meters that most of the world uses.