AIM: Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) can fail to reflect average glucose levels, potentially compromising management decisions. We analysed variability in the relationship between mean glucose and HbA1c in individuals with diabetes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three months of continuous glucose monitoring and HbA1c data were obtained from 216 individuals with type 1 diabetes. Universal red blood cell glucose transporter-1 Michaelis constant K(M) and individualized apparent glycation ratio (AGR) were calculated and compared across age, racial and gender groups. RESULTS: The mean age (range) was 30 years (8-72) with 94 younger than 19 years, 78 between 19 and 50 years, and 44 were >50 years. The group contained 120 women and 96 men with 106 white and 110 black individuals. The determined K(M) value was 464 mg/dl and AGR was (mean ± SD) 72.1 ± 7 ml/g. AGR, which correlated with red blood cell lifespan marker, was highest in those aged >50 years at 75.4 ± 6.9 ml/g, decreasing to 73.2 ± 7.8 ml/g in 19-50 years, with a further drop to 71.0 ± 5.8 ml/g in the youngest group (p <0 .05). AGR differed between white and black groups (69.9 ± 5.8 and 74.2 ± 7.1 ml/g, respectively; p < .001). In contrast, AGR values were similar in men and women (71.5 ± 7.5 and 72.5 ± 6.6 ml/g, respectively; p = .27). Interestingly, interindividual AGR variation within each group was at least four-fold higher than average for between-group variation. CONCLUSIONS: In this type 1 diabetes cohort, ethnicity and age, but not gender, alter the HbA1c-glucose relationship with even larger interindividual variations found within each group than between groups. Clinical application of personalized HbA1c-glucose relationships has the potential to optimize glycaemic care in the population with diabetes.