News - 04 March 2019


The global impact of HbA1c standardization

The February 2019 issue of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM) contains two important original articles arising from the established global standardization of glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) methods.

The first of these articles by English et al illustrates how HbA1c method standardization can lead to a multi-partner approach to improving diabetes testing in China. Published IFCC quality criteria will support future clinical trials and an expanded role for HbA1c testing across the country.

The second article by Duff et al demonstrates that ≥80% of patients with suboptimal control of their diabetes are not achieving commonly recommended HbA1c targets within one year. The authors suggest that the importance of HbA1c monitoring frequency is insufficiently recognised in diabetes management.

These articles have prompted an Editorial from Philippe Gillery in which he concludes that HbA1c is an ‘archetypal example’ of the long way to the standardization of laboratory practices. The global standardization of methods is an essential first step but engagement with the users of the standardized methods is required to improve clinical practice and clinical outcomes.


English E, Weycamp C, Ji l et al. The global impact of the IFCC Education and Management Division: engaging stakeholders and assessing HbA1c quality in a multicentre study across China. Clin Chem Lab Med 2019; 57: 288-295

Duff CJ, Solis-Trapala I, Driskell OJ et al. The frequency of testing for glycated haemoglobin, HbA1c, is linked to the probability of achieving target levels in patients with suboptimally controlled diabetes mellitus. Clin Chem Lab Med 2019; 57: 296-304

Gillery P. The long way to standardization of practices: HbA1c as archetypal example. Clin Chem Lab Med 2019; 57: 148-149

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