Purpose of review: Description of recent developments in the standardization of HbA1c measurement and interpretation of HbA1c results.
Recent findings: HbA1c is extensively used in the management of patients with diabetes. The two major schemes to standardize HbA1c produce values that differ substantially. A prospective, multinational study revealed a linear correlation between HbA1c and average blood glucose. Some, but not all, assay methods are able to accurately measure HbA1c in individuals with common hemoglobin variants.
Summary: Progress in standardization of methods for HbA1c measurement has significantly reduced variation among different methods. The improved accuracy could allow HbA1c to be used for screening and diagnosis of diabetes. A consensus document recommends that HbA1c be reported in both NGSP (%) and IFCC (mmol/mol) units. HbA1c results can be translated into estimated average glucose (eAG), which could be reported in addition to HbA1c.