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HbA1c testing may reveal a diabetic's retinopathy risk

Category: Diabetes

HbA1c testing may provide a strong indication of a diabetic's long-term risk of developing retinopathy, according to a new study from a team of French researchers.

They reported in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology that individuals who have unhealthy HbA1c and blood sugar levels are significantly more likely to develop the devastating eye condition 10 years later.

The researchers looked at HbA1c test results because this can give them a picture of how well a diabetic is controlling their blood sugar levels over an extended period of time. Elevated levels indicate that they are taking poor care of their condition.

For the study, researchers took various blood sugar measurements of more than 700 men. After a period of 10 years, the investigators examined the retinas of the participants. They found that individuals who had persistently high levels of blood sugar at the outset of the study were significantly more likely to develop retinopathy during the study period.

The researchers said that their findings may help doctors identify patients who are at the greatest risk of losing their eyesight and enable them to recommend lifestyle changes.

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