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AIM: To determine whether glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)) can be used in combination with fasting plasma glucose (FPG) for the diagnosis of diabetes in patients with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and in a broader spectrum of patients. METHODS: An algorithm was derived from oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) capillary samples in 500 consecutive UK patients with IFG by World Health Organization criteria. It was validated in a further 500 UK patients and, with venous specimens, in 1175 unselected Australian patients. RESULTS: The derivation cohort was aged 61 years (50-69 years) (median IQ range) with 52% male and 12% South Asian. Diabetes Control and Complications Trial-aligned HbA(1c) was 6.2% (5.8-6.6%) (reference interval < 6.0%) and FPG 6.7 mmol/l (6.3-7.2 mmol/l). FPG was in the diabetes range in 36% of patients, with an OGTT identifying a further 12% with diabetes. The derived algorithm, (HbA(1c) >or= 6.0% with FPG < 7.0 mmol/l) identified those patients requiring an OGTT to diagnose diabetes. When applied to the UK validation cohort, sensitivity was 97% and specificity 100%. The algorithm was equally effective in the unselected group, aged 59 years (49-68 years) and 54% male, with sensitivity 93% and specificity 100%. HbA(1c) was 6.0% (5.6-6.6%) and FPG 6.0 mmol/l (5.3-6.8 mmol/l), with 26% having IFG. Use of the algorithm would reduce the number of OGTTs performed in the UK validation cohort by 33% and by 66% in the Australian patients studied. CONCLUSIONS: Use of this algorithm would simplify procedures for diagnosis of diabetes and could also be used for monitoring pre-diabetes. Validation is now required in other populations and patient groups.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1464-5491.2008.02652.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Diabet Med

Publication Date

02/2009

Volume

26

Pages

115 - 121

Keywords

Aged, Algorithms, Australia, Blood Glucose, Diabetes Mellitus, Fasting, Female, Glucose Tolerance Test, Glycated Hemoglobin A, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prediabetic State, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, United Kingdom