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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1992 Aug;17(2):111-23.

A comparison of the relationships of the glucose tolerance test and the glycated haemoglobin assay with diabetic vascular disease in the community. The Islington Diabetes Survey.

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Department of Medicine, University College and Middlesex School of Medicine, Whittington Hospital, London, UK.


We have compared the relationships of fasting and 2 h blood-glucose during a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test, and those of an affinity chromatography assay of glycated haemoglobin, with the presence of vascular complications of diabetes mellitus in 223 subjects without known diabetes aged over 40 years selected from a community screening study population. The subjects included 15 (6.9%) with newly diagnosed diabetes and 52 (24.1%) with impaired glucose tolerance. Employing receiver operating characteristic analysis, the tests were similar in their relationship with three cases of retinopathy, 19 of microalbuminuria and six of peripheral neuropathy. The prevalence of coronary heart disease, defined as angina, myocardial infarction, or electrocardiographic changes of ischaemia, increased linearly across all four quartiles of both 2 h blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin concentration, but using logistic regression analysis, 2 h blood glucose was a better predictor of coronary heart disease than glycated haemoglobin. Receiver operating characteristic analysis also showed that 2 h blood glucose generally performed better than any of four assays of glycated haemoglobin in classifying those subjects with coronary heart disease.

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