Total glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1) levels were measured in 94 diabetic children aged between 3 and 19 years. The results were compared with traditional methods of assessing blood glucose control. HbA1 levels correlated with home urine glucose testing (P less than 0.05), with 24-hour urine glucose excretion (P less than 0.01), and with height velocity (P less than 0.001). Within the first two of these parameters there was a wide scatter of results, suggesting the inaccuracy of these methods for assessing control. The association of raised HbA1 levels with height velocities less than 10th centile shows the effect of poor control on growth. HbA1 may prove to be an objective method for assessing long-term blood glucose levels in diabetes, and thus it may be possible to determine the effect of good control in the prevention of the various diabetic complications.
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