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I'm 65 years old and I have been diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago. At least 5 friends of mine have DM2 and we talk a lot about our medications, doctors and exams. There is one point which is testing HbA1c, that we are all very surprised about the different frequencies that each of ours GPs request each of us to do the test. I do test it twice a year, my friend 3x a year and the other says that her GP finds 6 monthly  HbA1c unnecessary because she is a well-controlled diabetic patient. Actually we all take a lot of care, we do sports together,  take care of our diets, so in fact we are all well controlled diabetics. The question is: how frequently should  we test HbA1c?

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There is a wide variability between GPs regarding their requesting behaviour, so I understand it can be very confusing when you talk to your friends. It is also known that there are a lot of inappropriate requests for glicated hemoglobin (HbA1c) , either too many requests but also sometimes not enough requests. Actually exactly for this kind of situation exist what we call guidelines. The American Diabetes Association ADA made its guidelines based on expert consensus, and patients meeting treatment goals are advised to test twice a year (not less than this and more if necessary). There's a quality improvement in glycemic control doing it this way rather than once a year . Under-requesting increases the susceptibility to the development of diabetic complications. Even though there is lack of conformitywith national guidance it seems that our GP is following them!

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I imagine it would depend on how well-controlled your diabetes is and the discretion of your physician. If a diabetic is having difficulties with high blood sugars, the doctor may want a HbA1c drawn every 3 months to see how the patient is doing with the interventions implemented (diet, exercise, possibly medication). Once the patient has shown good numbers with their A1c, the need for testing will be less, perhaps every 6 months or annually. It usually depends on the doctor as to the frequency. It sounds like you and your friends should do well in having your A1c's done annually.
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