Desang diabetes magazine diabetes news



Andrew Hattersley, Professor of Molecular

Medicine at the University of Exeter Medical

School has been awarded the CBE in the

Queen's birthday honours list for his work in

revolutionising global diagnosis and treatment.

He has previously won a string of international

awards for his work in combining genetic

diagnosis with clinical treatment to make a

real difference for patients with genetic sub

types of diabetes across the world. In 1995

Hattersley and his colleague, Professor Sian

Elland, set up a molecular genetics laboratory

in the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital to do

research and clinical diagnostic testing. Back

then it was thought there were only the two

main types - insulin treated Type 1 diabetes

(mainly diagnosed in children and young

Readers of this magazine have

demonstrated an overwhelming demand for

regular HbA1c home testing. A survey sent

to readers have produced results showing

that the majority believed that their crucial

HbA1c levels should be checked more

regularly than the NHS currently offers,

and that self-monitoring using a home test

would be an effective way of achieving this.

HbA1c test results are used by clinicians

to gauge average glucose levels over the

previous three to four months and is used

to determine therapy accordingly. The

blood test can be carried out every three

to four months but currently, on the NHS,

the majority of people with diabetes are only

receiving an HbA1c blood test once a year.

The new survey of more than 700

people, 93% of whom are diagnosed with

diabetes, found that nearly 60% wanted

more regular testing than they were currently

offered and 82% believed that home testing

would provide them with an effective way

of achieving this. The survey, carried out by

Desang Magazine, also found that 73% of

respondents believed that it was important


to know their HbA1c levels on an

ongoing basis whilst a staggering 94%

stated that access to home monitoring

would encourage more people with

diabetes to self-monitor.

"The survey results demonstrate

that people with diabetes are aware

of the HbA1c test and its place within

their diabetes care and control and that

they want to achieve optimum control

by using diabetes management tools

at home," says Sue Marshall, Editor of

Desang Magazine. "It is encouraging to

note that magazine readers are keen

to help themselves and I believe that

this should be supported, including

expanding the possibility for more selfmonitoring in the home environment."

Dr Ponnusamy Saravanan,

Associate Clinical Professor & Honorary

Consultant Physician in Diabetes,

Endocrinology & Metabolism at the

University of Warwick & George Eliot

Hospital says, "HbA1c does not

fluctuate like daily blood glucose levels

and hence is an extremely useful

adults) and diet and tablet treated Type 2

(mainly diagnosed in middle and old age).

The Exeter work has been key in

showing there are also genetic subtypes

where a change in just one of the threebillion bits of

genetic code can result

in particular types of diabetes. These

genetic types are hard to differentiate

from the more common types, but their

recognition is important as they need

different treatment. The laboratory in

the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital is

run by Ellard, and it offers the testing for

genetic diabetes for all of the UK and

much of the world.

Hattersley discovered that some

babies with the sub-type neonatal

diabetes - which is diagnosed before

they are six months old - can be treated

more effectively with a simple tablet than

with daily multiple insulin injections. This

discovery has changed international

guidelines with these patients have better

glucose control and better quality of life.

Professor Sir Steve Smith, ViceChancellor and Chief Executive, said: "I

cannot think of anyone who deserves such

an honour more than Professor Andrew

Hattersley. His internationally-renowned

research into the genetic causes of

diabetes has literally transformed the

lives of thousands of patients worldwide

through the development of innovative


indicator of average blood glucose levels.

This survey shows that people with

diabetes understand what HbA1c is and

the value of optimum HbA1c testing and

wish to be tested more regularly than they

are under the current guidelines. It clearly

shows that people with diabetes are

comfortable with self-managing aspects

of their treatment including HbA1c

testing, and I believe that this should be

encouraged. Patient-led HBA1c testing,

whether at home or in the pharmacy,

would provide a simple yet very accurate

and effective system of continuous and

optimum monitoring of long-term glucose

levels, empowering the patient and

ensuring that the clinician has the best

possible information with which to decide

on treatment."

The independent survey was

supported by BHR Pharmaceuticals

Ltd, the sole UK distributors of A1CNow

Self Check the only HbA1c home check

system tested to industry precision



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