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03-29-2019 | Diagnosis | News

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HbA1c unreliable for diabetes diagnosis in isolation

medwireNews: Relying solely on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) to diagnose type 2 diabetes will miss a substantial proportion of cases and thus the opportunity for early intervention, say researchers.

Speaking at the ENDO 2019 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, Maria Chang Villacreses (City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California, USA) presented data from 9000 participants of the 2005–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, without known diabetes.

She reported that of 6300 people with normal HbA1c, 42.5% were classified as having diabetes based on their fasting plasma and 2-hour glucose results. And of 765 people with diabetes according to these glucose measurements, only 26.9% were classified with diabetes based on their HbA1c.

So in these two scenarios, a respective four and seven in every 10 people would miss the opportunity for prompt intervention.

Chang Villacreses noted the widespread use of HbA1c as a simple and inexpensive diabetes screening tool, but said: “If you have a patient that you suspect highly, and has high risk factors of diabetes, perhaps you should rely only on the A1c.”

By Eleanor McDermid

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2019 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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