Send to

Choose Destination
Diabetologia. 2007 Nov;50(11):2239-44. Epub 2007 Sep 13.

Relationship between glycated haemoglobin levels and mean glucose levels over time.

Author information

Diabetes Center, Department of Biostatistics, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford Street, Suite 340, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



HbA(1c), expressed as the percentage of adult haemoglobin that is glycated, is the most widely used measure of chronic glycaemia. Achieving near-normal HbA(1c) levels has been shown to reduce long-term complications and the HbA(1c) assay is recommended to determine whether treatment is adequate and to guide adjustments. However, daily adjustments of therapy are guided by capillary glucose levels (mmol/l). We determined the relationship between an accurate measure of mean glucose levels over time and the HbA(1c) level, and whether HbA(1c) can be expressed in the same units as self-monitoring results.


Twenty-two participants with diabetes and three non-diabetic participants were included in this longitudinal observational study. Mean glucose levels were measured by continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), which measures interstitial glucose levels every 5 min, for 12 weeks. Capillary measurements were obtained four times per day to confirm the accuracy of CGM. HbA(1c) was measured at baseline and every 4 weeks.


The HbA(1c) results at weeks 8 and 12 correlated strongly (r = 0.90) with the CGM results during the preceding 8 and 12 weeks. A curvilinear (exponential) relationship and a linear regression captured the relationship with similarly high correlations, which allowed transformation of HbA(1c) values to a calculated mean glucose level.


HbA(1c) correlates closely with a complete measure of average glycaemia over the preceding 8-12 weeks. The translation of HbA(1c) to an average glucose level for reporting and management purposes is feasible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center