A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows hemoglobin A1c levels differ in black and white persons independent of glucose levels.
The study looked at 1581 non-Hispanic black and white persons in the Atlanta area between 18 and 87 years of age who did not have known diabetes and were well enough to work and 1967 non-Hispanic black and white persons older than 40 years without known diabetes, who were otherwise representative of the U.S. national population.
Researches found black persons had higher hemoglobin A1c levels than white persons with similar sugar levels regardless of whether they had diabetes, a condition that leads to diabetes, or neither condition. The differences between black and white persons increased as sugar levels increased.
It is not known why the black–white differences occurred, however, knowing that they do should change the way hemoglobin A1c testing is used to screen for diabetes.