An editorial published in the September issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes lauded a recent research study for pursuing the challenge of examining limitations to the current cardiovascular disease (CVD) events risk estimator.
Dr. Michael Pignone, adjunct professor of health behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and professor of medicine at UNC’s School of Medicine, co-authored the study with Ms. Jamie Jarmul, doctoral candidate in health policy and management at the Gillings School.
The article, “Interpreting Hemoglobin A1C in Combination with Conventional Risk Factors for Prediction of Cardiovascular Risk,” was published online September 8 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
According to the study, CVD risk prediction tools are used commonly to help determine whether a patient at risk for cardiovascular events should begin a lifelong prescription for statins. It is currently unclear whether some assessment of diabetes or blood sugar level, such as Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), should be among the CVD risk prediction tools.
The study by Ms. Jarmul and Dr. Pignone found that HbA1C does have modest effects on the predicted risk of CVD events when considered in the context of conventional risk factors. The study findings alone, however, are not significant enough to support adding HbA1C to conventional risk prediction.