The guidelines, written by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), 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. Those at high risk are to be provided with a programme to help implement healthy lifestyle changes that prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
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 easily, reliably and rapidly carried out by EKF’s Quo-Test and Quo-Lab near patient analysers. For example, fast and accurate results are obtained from the analyser in just four minutes from 4μl of blood from finger prick or venous sample. The analysers 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 recognised 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 risk2).
EKF Diagnostics CEO Julian Baines supported the NICE release stating “EKF Diagnostics welcomes the release of the NICE guidance, particularly the recognition that HbA1c can be used in identifying adults at risk of diabetes. The Quo-Test and Quo-Lab range of HbA1c analysers will greatly aid UK health providers in identifying at risk individuals and monitoring disease and treatment status in patients who are diagnosed with diabetes.” Baines further commented that “The certified accuracy and ease of use of the Quo-Test and Quo-Lab analysers will allow care providers to rapidly establish preventative treatment programmes for at risk individuals. This rapid intervention reduces overall treatment costs, because in many at risk cases, simple life style changes, to diet or physical activity levels for example, are sufficient to reduce the chances of disease onset.”
1. PH38: Preventing type 2 diabetes: risk identification and interventions for individuals at high risk: Guidance.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), July 2012.
Available online: http://www.nice.org.uk/
2. Use of Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. The implementation of World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance 2011.
Garry John, W., Willson, R. and Alberti, G.
Available online: http://www.acb.org.uk
To find out more about EKF Quo-Test and Quo-Lab please visit www.ekfdiagnostics.com
The Public Health Guidance 38 document, “Preventing type 2 diabetes: risk identification and interventions for individuals at high risk”, sets out recommendations for everyone who has a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for, preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. This includes GPs, nurses and other health professionals, as well as commissioners and managers within the NHS, local authorities and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors. It is also for pharmacists, occupational health specialists, optical practitioners, those involved in the NHS Health Check programme and all those who deliver dietary, physical activity and weight management services. To see the report: http://www.nice.org.uk/