Are medical measurements/units pertaining to blood-tests and urine-tests standardized across the globe? Or are they different?

(I thought the metric system was standard in science, but when I was talking to my French friend about a test result from a blood-test in Canada, he asked me to explain which unit it was because he was fairly sure it was different?).

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While the measured quantities are the same across border, both names and units can vary.

The main difference is often the unit used for the concentration of each analyte : either mass per volume or mole per volume (eg: glucose 1g/L = 5.5 mmol/L), sometime variation on the unit prefix (eg: haemoglobin 120 g/L = 12 g/dL). It is of course possible to convert a value in another representation: here is a list of normal values (PDF) in different units.

This is mostly a result of differing medical traditions/habits (AMA style guide regarding units, wikipedia on units and reference ranges)


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