India is characterized by the presence of a large diabetic population. The country’s status as the diabetes capital of the world has made the need for diabetes prevention and screening very important. Naturally, tests for measuring the blood glucose levels are highly demanded within the country. HbA1c testing in the country is also benefiting from this trend. The ability to measure one’s blood glucose levels over a period of 3 months has made it a test favored by many diabetics as well as people who believe they are at high risk of developing diabetes. The market for HbA1c testing has been growing steadily and with the awareness level regarding it increasing rapidly, the market is set to boom in a few years.
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Although the test is considered to be very useful for diabetes screening as well as monitoring the diabetes status of a patient, its much higher cost compared to a simple blood sugar level test can act as a hindrance to its greater acceptance. However, the need to go for HbA1c tests only 3-4 times a year unlike the blood sugar level test which may have to be done on a monthly basis may work in favour of the former. Moreover, HbA1c tests give a clearer picture of the diabetes status of a patient as it a measurement of the glucose levels over a period of 3 months. Several physicians also prescribe this test to their patients which in turn will increase its demand and thereby drive growth in the market.
Several large diagnostic chains offer these tests in India. Majority of the patients going for this test are confirmed diabetics while very few non-diabetics go for this test. Most of the patients visiting laboratories for HbA1c tests have been prescribed to go for the test by a physician with very few people opting for the test on their own. But with increasing awareness among people, this ratio is likely to change and many more people are expected to go for the test independently.
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