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Diabetes Metab J : Diabetes & Metabolism Journal



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Discrepancies between Glycosylated Hemoglobin and Fasting Plasma Glucose for Diagnosing Impaired Fasting Glucose and Diabetes Mellitus in Korean Youth and Young Adults
Jieun Lee, Young Ah Lee, Jae Hyun Kim, Seong Yong Lee, Choong Ho Shin, Sei Won Yang
Diabetes Metab J. 2019;43(2):174-182.   Published online November 2, 2018
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   

Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) has been recommended as a diagnostic test for prediabetes and diabetes. Here, we evaluated the level of agreement between diagnoses based on fasting plasma glucose (FPG) versus HbA1c levels and determined optimal HbA1c cutoff values for these diseases in youth and young adults.


The study included 7,332 subjects (n=4,129, aged 10 to 19 years in youth group; and n=3,203 aged 20 to 29 years in young adult group) from the 2011 to 2016 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Prediabetes and diabetes were defined as 100 to 125 mg/dL (impaired fasting glucose [IFG]) and ≥126 mg/dL for FPG (diabetes mellitus [DM] by FPG [DMFPG]), and 5.7% to 6.4% and ≥6.5% for HbA1c, respectively.


In the youth group, 32.5% with IFG had an HbA1c level of 5.7% to 6.4%, and 72.2% with DMFPG had an HbA1c ≥6.5%. In the young adult group, 27.5% with IFG had an HbA1c level of 5.7% to 6.4%, and 66.6% with DMFPG had an HbA1c ≥6.5%. Kappa coefficients for agreement between the FPG and HbA1c results were 0.12 for the youth group and 0.19 for the young adult group. In receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, the optimal HbA1c cutoff for IFG and DMFPG were 5.6% and 5.9% in youths and 5.5% and 5.8% in young adults, respectively.


Usefulness of HbA1c for diagnosis of IFG and DMFPG in Koreans aged <30 years remains to be determined due to discrepancies between the results of glucose- and HbA1c-based tests. Additional testing might be warranted at lower HbA1c levels to detect IFG and DMFPG in this age group.


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Diabetes Metab J : Diabetes & Metabolism Journal