New Diabetes Test May--Or May Not--Be Better
Industry-funded researchers say they’ve developed a way to improve the accuracy of a standard diabetes test. Dr. John Higgins is an associate professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He told UPI, “We think our approach will enable many patients and their doctors to do a better job controlling blood sugar levels and reduce the long-term risks of heart attack, stroke, blindness and kidney failure” associated with diabetes. The study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Abbott Diagnostics, a company that develops laboratory medical tests. The study authors, including Higgins, are listed as inventors on a patent application linked to the findings. At issue is the HbA1c test, also known as the A1c test, which is used to diagnose diabetes. Diabetics and people with prediabetes typically check their A1c levels every three months. The test can be inaccurate, however. How much that matters, however, is debatable. Higgins said the errors are significant. But another specialist, Dr. Joel Zonszein, said the test is rarely inaccurate and “is a good test for the great majority” of patients. The study appears in the Oct. 5th issue of Science Translational Medicine.
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