New Study Confirms Differences Between Black and White Children With Regard to Hemoglobin A1c Response

A new study has confirmed the results of two previous studies that were performed by LSU Health New Orleans. The study finds that an indicator of diabetes control, the HbA1c test is deceptively high because black children have higher HbA1c than white children. The study was lead by Stuart A. Chalew. MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Head of the Division of Endocrinology in the Department of Pediatrics at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine.


Dr. Chalew was the first to report that there was a difference between black and white children with regard to the hemoglobin A1c response to blood glucose. The findings of this study indicate that black children have significantly higher HbA1c than white children, when blood glucose levels are otherwise similar averages. The result is that insulin dosing may not be effective when because a component of HbA1c that is independent of blood glucose levels is not modifiable.


As a result of the study, Dr. Chalew has pushed for efforts to look at disparities between black children and white children with regard to Type 1 diabetes care. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics on February 16, 2015.

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