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J Diabetes Complications. 2017 May;31(5):814-823. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2017.02.007. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

HbA1c in relation to incident diabetes and diabetes-related complications in non-diabetic adults at baseline.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Population Health, University of Auckland; Department of Statistics, University of Auckland. Electronic address: p.metcalf@auckland.ac.nz.
2
LabPlus, Auckland City Hospital, and Department of Molecular Medicine, University, of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Center, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
3
South Auckland Clinical School, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Center, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.
4
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Population Health, University of Auckland.

Abstract

AIMS:

We compared the utility of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and oral glucose tolerance (oGTT) in non-diabetic patients for identifying incident diabetes; all-cause mortality; cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality; CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD), and ischemic stroke events; and diabetes microvascular complications.

METHODS:

Data from a New Zealand community setting were prospectively linked to hospitalization, mortality, pharmaceutical and laboratory test results data. After applying exclusion criteria (prior laboratory diagnosis or history of drug treatment for diabetes or hospitalization for diabetes or CVD event), there were 31,148 adults who had an HbA1c and 2-h 75g oGTT. HbA1c was measured by ion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography, and glucose using a commercial enzymatic method. We compared glycemic measures and outcomes using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.

RESULTS:

The median follow-up time was 4years (range 0 to 13). The mean age was 57·6years and 53·0% were male. After adjusting for other glycemic measures (fasting glucose, 2-h glucose and/or HbA1c where relevant) in addition to age, sex, ethnicity and smoking habit, the hazard ratios for incident diabetes and diabetes complications of retinopathy and nephropathy were highest for 2-h glucose levels, followed by HbA1c and lastly by fasting glucose. However, all-cause mortality and CHD were significantly associated with HbA1c concentrations only, and ischemic stroke and CVD events with 2-h glucose only. Circulatory complications showed a stronger association with HbA1c.

CONCLUSION:

Apart from neuropathy, HbA1c showed stronger associations with outcomes compared to fasting glucose and provides a convenient alternative to an oGTT.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular disease; Glycated hemoglobin; Incident diabetes; Nephropathy; Neuropathy; Retinopathy

PMID:
28319002
DOI:
10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2017.02.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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