Readers of my blog will know that clinical content isn’t normally my focus, my preference being to focus on GP-related issues pertaining to my ongoing personal but low-grade existential crisis. (It keeps life interesting)
However, I learnt something both incredibly simple and useful last week regarding the new HbA1c scale that we’ve been trickling towards for a while in Australia. If you’re like me, and breathed a sigh of relief when it was once again pushed back until the end of 2013, then read on! I should also note that one of the fantastic Aboriginal Health Workers at Durri AMS (my workplace) taught me this – yay for team-based AMS structure and medical care!
Up until now, I’ve been relying on conversion tables like this excellent one from QAAMS that I have on the wall at work.
But (revelation coming up!) you don’t actually even NEED this table with a simple trick to quickly convert whole integer (i.e. 6, 9, 13) HbA1c values from the old percentage to the new mmol/mol.
Take the HbA1c percentage – let’s go with 7%.
To work out mmol/mol, simply subtract 2 (to get 5), and then 2 again (to get 3). The mmol/mol figure is 53!
Super easy, super awesome.
6% …. 42 mmol/mol
10% …. 86 mmol/mol
The only slight trickiest occurs at 14%, where you get 12 and 10. Just carry the 1 from the 10 to give 13 and 0, and there’s your answer – 130mmol/mol. This keeps working with higher HbA1c figures too (although when they are that high, exactness is not really the priority!)
I hope you like this simple trick. It’s only small, but has made my diabetes consults A LOT easier.