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Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2013 Nov;29(8):680-92. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.2445.

Use of high-normal levels of haemoglobin A(1C) and fasting plasma glucose for diabetes screening and for prediction: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Health Management Center, Mito Kyodo General Hospital, Ibaraki, Japan; Department of Internal Medicine, Niigata University Faculty of Medicine, Niigata, Japan.



Using high-normal levels of haemoglobin A1C (Abnormal-A1C ) or fasting plasma glucose (FPG) (Abnormal-FPG) for diabetes screening are expected to improve the ability to detect persons with or at high risk of diabetes. We assessed the diagnostic and predictive capacity for diabetes of Abnormal-A1C and Abnormal-FPG. We compared these to the combined use of the two measures to the single use of either measurement.


We analysed 31 eligible cross-sectional or cohort studies that assessed diagnostic or predictive ability, respectively, by using lower A1C and FPG cutoff values than recommended by current diabetes criteria. Positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR+ and LR-) were calculated to assess the ability to confirm or exclude diabetes, respectively, on the basis of a bivariate random-effects model.


With both Abnormal-A1C and Abnormal-FPG, the pooled LR+ was above 4 for diagnosing diabetes and above 3 for predicting diabetes. However, the pooled LR- for predicting diabetes was higher with Abnormal-A1C (0.48) and Abnormal-FPG (0.49) in comparison with that for diagnosing diabetes (0.27, Abnormal-A1C ; 0.28, Abnormal-FPG). In eight studies that assessed the predictive ability of the combination of A1C and FPG, using either Abnormal-A1C or Abnormal-FPG could lower LR- to 0.17 from 0.43 for only Abnormal-A1C and from 0.38 for only Abnormal-FPG. Accordingly, LR+ was also lowered to 2.37 from 3.36 for only Abnormal-A1C and from 3.84 for only-Abnormal-FPG.


The use of the two blood glucose tests had insufficient capacity to identify subjects at high risk for diabetes but had considerable capacity to identify undiagnosed diabetes.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


blood glucose; diagnosis; haemoglobin A, glycosylated; hyperglycemia; mass screening; meta-analysis

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