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Diabetes Care. 2010 Jul;33(7):1665-73. doi: 10.2337/dc09-1939.

A1C level and future risk of diabetes: a systematic review.

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  • 1Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and HealthPromotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Xuanping Zhang, xbz2@cdc.gov


We examined ranges of A1C useful for identifying persons at high risk for diabetes prior to preventive intervention by conducting a systematic review. From 16 included studies, we found that annualized diabetes incidence ranged from 0.1% at A1C <5.0% to 54.1% at A1C >or=6.1%. Findings from 7 studies that examined incident diabetes across a broad range of A1C categories showed 1) risk of incident diabetes increased steeply with A1C across the range of 5.0 to 6.5%; 2) the A1C range of 6.0 to 6.5% was associated with a highly increased risk of incident diabetes, 25 to 50% incidence over 5 years; 3) the A1C range of 5.5 to 6.0% was associated with a moderately increased relative risk, 9 to 25% incidence over 5 years; and 4) the A1C range of 5.0 to 5.5% was associated with an increased incidence relative to those with A1C <5%, but the absolute incidence of diabetes was less than 9% over 5 years. Our systematic review demonstrated that A1C values between 5.5 and 6.5% were associated with a substantially increased risk for developing diabetes.

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