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Semin Dial. 2016 Jan-Feb;29(1):19-23. doi: 10.1111/sdi.12408. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

What is the Role of HbA1c in Diabetic Hemodialysis Patients?

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Nephrology and Critical Care Departments, Fernando Fonseca Hospital, Amadora, Portugal.
Center for Chronic Diseases (CEDOC), Faculty of Medical Sciences, New University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.


The definition of a good glycemic control in patients with diabetes mellitus on hemodialysis is far from settled. In the general population, hemoglobin A1c is highly correlated with the average glycemia of the last 8-12 weeks. However, in hemodialysis patients, the correlation of hbA1c with glycemia is weaker as it also reflects changes in hemoglobin characteristics and red blood cells half-life. As expected, studies show that the association between HbA1c and outcomes in these patients differ from the general population. Therefore, the value of HbA1c in the treatment of hemodialysis patients has been questioned. Guidelines are generally cautious in their recommendations about possible targets of HbA1c in this population. Indeed, the risk of not treating hyperglycemia should be weighed against the particularly high risk of precipitating hypoglycemia in dialysis patients. In this review, a critical analysis of the current role of HbA1c in the care of hemodialysis patients is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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