EKF Diagnostics, Cardiff, UK, released a public health guidance document to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in high risk individuals. The guidelines, written by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, and commissioned by the UK Department of Health, gives recommendations to health care providers for developing a two-stage strategy to identify people at high risk of type 2 diabetes (and those with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes). The strategy consists of a risk assessment, followed, where necessary, by a blood test to confirm whether people have the disease, or are at high risk of developing it.

The report follows the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations that glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) can be used as an alternative to standard glucose measures to diagnose type 2 diabetes among non-pregnant adults. The benefits of HbA1c measurement, compared to fasting glucose testing, include the convenience for patients, since there is no requirement to fast for a 12-hour period prior to testing.

HbA1c measurements can be carried out by EKF’s Quo-Test and Quo-Lab near patient analyzers. For example, fast and accurate results are obtained from the analyzer in just four minutes from 4μl of blood from finger prick or venous sample. The analyzers are also able to produce accurate quantitative results enabling a clear distinction of the level of risk (WHO has determined that HbA1c levels of 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) or above indicate that someone has type 2 diabetes), and a UK expert group has recognized that there is a continuum of risk across a range of subdiabetic HbA1c levels – so that people with an HbA1c below 42 mmol/mol (6.0%) may also be at risk).