Journal Article


Catherine M. Phillips
Ivan J Perry
Seán R Millar



glycated hemoglobin fasting plasma glucose health care older adults acute phase proteins pro inflammatory american heart association a1c middle aged inflammation inflammatory cytokines logistic regression type cardiovascular disease metabolic syndrome diagnosis hba1c

HbA1c Alone Is a Poor Indicator of Cardiometabolic Risk in Middle-Aged Subjects with Pre-Diabetes but Is Suitable for Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis: A Cross-Sectional Study. (2015)

Abstract Glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) measurement is recommended as an alternative to fasting plasma glucose (FPG) for the diagnosis of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, evidence suggests discordance between HbA1c and FPG. In this study we examine a range of metabolic risk features, pro-inflammatory cytokines, acute-phase response proteins, coagulation factors and white blood cell counts to determine which assay more accurately identifies individuals at increased cardiometabolic risk. This was a cross-sectional study involving a random sample of 2,047 men and women aged 46-73 years. Binary and multinomial logistic regression were employed to examine risk feature associations with pre-diabetes [either HbA1c levels 5.7-6.4% (39-46 mmol/mol) or impaired FPG levels 5.6-6.9 mmol/l] and type 2 diabetes [either HbA1c levels >6.5% (>48 mmol/mol) or FPG levels >7.0 mmol/l]. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to evaluate the ability of HbA1c to discriminate pre-diabetes and diabetes defined by FPG. Stronger associations with diabetes-related phenotypes were observed in pre-diabetic subjects diagnosed by FPG compared to those detected by HbA1c. Individuals with type 2 diabetes exhibited cardiometabolic profiles that were broadly similar according to diagnosis by either assay. Pre-diabetic participants classified by both assays displayed a more pro-inflammatory, pro-atherogenic, hypertensive and insulin resistant profile. Odds ratios of having three or more metabolic syndrome features were also noticeably increased (OR: 4.0, 95% CI: 2.8-5.8) when compared to subjects diagnosed by either HbA1c (OR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2-1.8) or FPG (OR: 3.0, 95% CI: 1.7-5.1) separately. In middle-aged Caucasian-Europeans, HbA1c alone is a poor indicator of cardiometabolic risk but is suitable for diagnosing diabetes. Combined use of HbA1c and FPG may be of additional benefit for detecting individuals at highest odds of type 2 diabetes development.
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Full list of authors on original publication

Catherine M. Phillips, Ivan J Perry, Seán R Millar

Experts in our system

Catherine M Phillips
University College Cork
Total Publications: 44
Ivan J Perry
University College Cork
Total Publications: 188
Seán R Millar
University College Cork