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Blood Sugar Levels Higher in Diabetic Blacks Than in Whites

Higher glycosylated hemoglobin levels in blacks may explain extra complications

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Black diabetic patients have higher levels of glycosylated hemoglobin than whites, researchers report in a study published online Aug. 25 in Diabetes Care. High glycosylated hemoglobin, or A1C, levels are associated with poor glucose control and diabetes-related complications from retinopathy to lower-extremity amputation.

In what they describe as the first meta-analysis of the issue along racial lines, Julienne Kirk, Pharm.D., of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues analyzed 11 studies from 1993 to 2005 of A1C levels in blacks and whites with diabetes.

The researchers found that A1C levels were 0.65 percent lower in whites with diabetes than in blacks. The results were similar when the researchers analyzed the studies according to the way they were conducted, whether data was gathered by reviewing charts or through blood tests, and whether patients had managed care or other health insurance.

"The higher A1C observed in this meta-analysis among African-Americans in comparison to non-Hispanic whites may contribute to disparity in diabetes morbidity and mortality in this population," the authors conclude.

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