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Diabet Med. 2011 Nov;28(11):1319-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2011.03317.x. Epub 2011 Apr 16.

HbA(1c) in adults without known diabetes from southern Europe. Impact of the new diagnostic criteria in clinical practice.

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  • 1Biomedical Research Laboratory, Endocrinology Department, Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga, Madrid, Spain. rbernallopez@yahoo.es



To analyse the differences in the prevalence of diabetes and dysglycaemia using fasting plasma glucose and HbA(1c) criteria.


Analytical cross-sectional study undertaken in a random sample of 2144 individuals (age 18-80 years) without known diabetes from the primary care setting in Malaga (Spain). Dysglycaemia was defined as fasting plasma glucose 5.6-6.9 mmol/l or HbA(1c) 39-46 mmol/mol (5.7-6.4%) and diabetes as fasting plasma glucose ≥ 7.0 mmol/l or HbA(1c)≥ 48 mmol/mol (≥ 6.5%).


The proportion of subjects who were normoglycaemic was significantly higher using fasting plasma glucose than HbA(1c) (83.5 vs. 65%) (P < 0.0001). Compared with fasting plasma glucose, HbA(1c) detects more cases of dysglycaemia (32 vs. 14.8%) (P < 0.0001) and diabetes (3 vs. 1.7%) (P < 0.0001).


In our environment, using HbA(1c) for the diagnosis of pre-diabetes and diabetes could increase the target population for preventive and therapeutic measures. Further cost-effectiveness studies are needed before the widespread diagnostic use of HbA(1c) can be recommended.

© 2011 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2011 Diabetes UK.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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