Performance of HbA1c for the prediction of diabetes in a rural community in Korea

B. M. Song, H. C. Kim, J. Y. Lee, J. M. Lee, D. J. Kim, Y. H. Lee, I. Suh

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To investigate the performance of HbA1c in predicting incident diabetes among Korean adults with normal fasting glucose and impaired fasting glucose levels. Methods: This study used data from the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study-Kangwha Study. A prospective analysis was carried out on 2079 people (820 men and 1259 women) who completed follow-up examinations up until 2013. Diabetes was defined as fasting blood glucose level ≥ 7.0 mmol/l, HbA1c level ≥ 48 mmol/mol (6.5%), or current treatment for diabetes. Areas under the receiver-operating characteristic curves were used to assess the different performances of HbA1c, glucose and insulin in predicting diabetes. Results: The median follow-up time was 3.97 years, during which 7.7% of men and 6.3% of women developed incident diabetes. The areas under the receiver-operating curves (95% CI) for diabetes prediction were 0.740 (0.692-0.787) for HbA1c, 0.716 (0.667-0.764) for glucose and 0.598 (0.549-0.648) for insulin. HbA1c showed better predictive power in people with impaired fasting glucose (area under the curve 0.753, 95% CI 0.685-0.821) than in those with normal glucose (area under the curve 0.648, 95% CI 0.577-0.719). An HbA1c threshold of 40 mmol/mol (5.8%) was found to have the highest predictive value for diabetes, with a relative risk of 6.30 (95% CI 3.49-11.35) in men and 3.52 (95% CI 2.06-6.03) in women after adjusting for age, waist circumference, triglycerides, hypertension, family history of diabetes, smoking, alcohol intake, exercise and baseline glucose level. Conclusions: HbA1c can be used to identify people at high risk for the development of diabetes, especially in those with impaired fasting glucose levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1602-1610
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Diabetes UK.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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