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What causes difference in HbA1c and glucometer levels?

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Posted on Wed, 20 May 2015
Question: I am wondering why I receive a blood serum level for A1c of 150 and my glucometer is 104
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Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
HbA1c and glucometer use different techniques for blood glucose measurement

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Please find my observations below.

1. It is understood that your HbA1c level (glycosylated hemoglobin) is indicating average blood glucose level is about 7.0 percent which corresponds to blood glucose level of approximately 150 mg/ dl while your glucometer shows a reading of 104 mg/ dl.

2. If my understanding of your problem is wrong then please feel free to correct me.

3. Discussing the results, the HbA1c value shows a more accurate average value over last 3 months and this is independent of your recent food intake. This is highly accurate and consistent.

4. The glucometer value is an instant random measurement and can vary over minutes to hours as it measures the present blood glucose level in the sample. This value depends on the intake of food in the last 12 hours. Glucometer can also show a 5 to 10 percent positive or negative error.

5. From the above you can see that blood glucose measurement by HbA1c is a completely different method when compared to a glucometer measurement. Therefore it is not necessary that both the values should match in every patient. HbA1c is the most accurate value and should be considered for blood glucose control purposes.

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6783 Questions

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What causes difference in HbA1c and glucometer levels?

Brief Answer: HbA1c and glucometer use different techniques for blood glucose measurement Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. 1. It is understood that your HbA1c level (glycosylated hemoglobin) is indicating average blood glucose level is about 7.0 percent which corresponds to blood glucose level of approximately 150 mg/ dl while your glucometer shows a reading of 104 mg/ dl. 2. If my understanding of your problem is wrong then please feel free to correct me. 3. Discussing the results, the HbA1c value shows a more accurate average value over last 3 months and this is independent of your recent food intake. This is highly accurate and consistent. 4. The glucometer value is an instant random measurement and can vary over minutes to hours as it measures the present blood glucose level in the sample. This value depends on the intake of food in the last 12 hours. Glucometer can also show a 5 to 10 percent positive or negative error. 5. From the above you can see that blood glucose measurement by HbA1c is a completely different method when compared to a glucometer measurement. Therefore it is not necessary that both the values should match in every patient. HbA1c is the most accurate value and should be considered for blood glucose control purposes. Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek