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    HbA1c testing provides average blood glucose control, an elevated result may be associated with adverse post-operative outcomes. Our objective was to evaluate the association between elevated pre-operative HbA1c and post-operative complications in patients undergoing major gynaecological oncology surgery. HbA1c was measured pre-operatively in 364 patients. We identified 65 (16%) patients at risk of developing diabetes with borderline HbA1c measurements.Patients with borderline HbA1c (42-47 mmol/mol) had almost double the incidence of infections compared to patients with normal HbA1c (15.8% vs. 6.5%, p=.038). There were significantly less infections between patients with a normal HbA1c (<42 mmol/mol) and those with an HbA1c of over 42 mmol/mol (6.5% vs. 22.8%, p<.05). There was an association between elevated HbA1c and infective complications especially in patients with a borderline HbA1c. It is suggested that knowing HbA1c status, intervention can be made to prevent post-operative infective complications and improve outcomes.Impact statementWhat is already known on this subject? Obesity is a common risk factor for gynaecological cancer and elevated HbA1c. Chronically elevated HbA1c may lower immunity. An association has been shown previously between elevated HbA1c and post-operative complications.What the results of this study add? This study examined infective complications in patients undergoing gynaecological surgery; showing that patients with a borderline HbA1c (42-47 mmol/mol), especially those with a diagnosis of diabetes to be most at risk. This suggests that pre-operative HbA1c should be used routinely to guide care rather than diabetic status alone to prevent post-operative infections.What the implications are of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? More research needs to be carried out to find the optimal pre-operative HbA1c targets to reduce post-operative infection rates. Work needs to be done in conjunction with general practitioners to help patients to reduce their HbA1c prior to treatment.


    Emily Keavy, Edward Sizer, Meghna Datta, Margaret Ryan, Laura Bradley, Michael Smith, Brett Winter-Roach, Richard Slade, Eva Myriokefalitaki. Association of elevated pre-operative HbA1c and post-operative complications in patients undergoing gynaecological oncology surgery. Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2020 Oct;40(7):994-999

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    PMID: 31825268

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