Do You Know How to Read a Diabetes A1c Blood Test?

Aug 9, 2010 by

Testing blood sugar

Many patients don’t know how to read a diabetes A1c blood test.  This is the statement made by Pharmacy News, the independent website of the Australian pharmacists. The article shows how a large population of people with diabetes type 2 is not managing the disease.

 Whose fault is it? I definitely don’t blame the patients. So, who else is at fault here? Could it be the doctors? Guys, remember that not controlling blood sugar levels leads to disastrous consequences.

Type 2 patients not managing

3 August 2010 | by Jennifer Joseph

Australians diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have a concerning low level of understanding in managing their disease, new research has revealed.

The research report Understanding the challenges patients face in managing type 2 diabetes, conducted on behalf of Novartis Australia, shows that although 67 per cent of respondents believe they know their blood glucose (HbA1c) target, only 17 per cent are able to identify it correctly.

President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Kos Sclavos said the findings indicate that there is considerable confusion among patients over type 2 diabetes treatment targets.

“What role poor compliance with medication has in relation to disease management is unknown. What is known is that pharmacists who take time to engage with their diabetes patients and improve health literacy and medication compliance can improve the health outcome of these patients,” said Mr Sclavos.

“It also builds a strong case that the new diabetes capitation funding model of care needs to be directly linked to community pharmacy professional services.”

Surveying the opinions of 401 people aged 18 to 64 years across Australia and living with type 2 diabetes, the findings showed one-in-three respondents do not know what their target HbA1c level should be.

Despite this widespread lack of awareness of what constitutes good blood glucose control, 69 per cent of respondents still believed their diabetes was adequately controlled.

Those who knew their target HbA1c were twice as likely to have had their HbA1c tested in the previous three months than people who did not know their HbA1c target.

However, one-quarter of respondents had not had an HbA1c reading in the last six months and 11 per cent have not had an HbA1c reading in the last 12 months.

Managing weight was the most common challenge cited by 73 per cent of respondents, while exercising regularly (64 per cent) and following a healthy diet (52 per cent) were also highlighted as issues.

“Community pharmacy is well placed to assist patients in this regard. Forty one per cent of people taking medications to control take medication,” said Mr Sclavos.

Article brought to you by

Emilia Klapp,RD,BS
Your Diabetes Coach

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