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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Relationship of glycosylated hemoglobin to oral glucose tolerance. Implications for diabetes screening.

The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) for diagnosis of diabetes is inconvenient and requires a great deal of patient cooperation. Glycosylated hemoglobin (GHb), an index of long-term glycemic control, could offer several practical advantages over the OGTT for diabetes screening. We evaluated GHb as a screen for diabetes in 381 adults from a population with a high prevalence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes (Pima Indians). All individuals underwent a standard OGTT (75 g) and were separated into one of three groups: normal (N), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or diabetes mellitus (D) based on World Health Organization criteria. HbA1c, a GHb, was measured by highly precise high-performance liquid chromatography (interassay C.V. less than 4%). The normal range for HbA1c was 4.07-6.03% based on the 95% confidence interval for a nondiabetic, mostly Caucasian population. Compared with OGTT, HbA1c was highly specific (91%); an elevated HbA1c usually indicated D or IGT (sensitivity = 85 and 30%, respectively). A normal HbA1c did not, however, exclude a diagnosis of D or IGT. Based on previous epidemiological studies relating plasma glucose to chronic diabetic complications, GHb as measured in this study would properly identify the vast majority of subjects at risk. Long-term studies are necessary to determine the actual risk of complications in individuals with persistently normal HbA1c and D or IGT (based on OGTT).[1]


  1. Relationship of glycosylated hemoglobin to oral glucose tolerance. Implications for diabetes screening. Little, R.R., England, J.D., Wiedmeyer, H.M., McKenzie, E.M., Pettitt, D.J., Knowler, W.C., Goldstein, D.E. Diabetes (1988) [Pubmed]
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