Discordance in the diagnosis of diabetes: Comparison between HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2017, 12 (8)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2017 Ho-Pham et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Objective HbA1c has been introduced as a complementary diagnostic test for diabetes, but its impact on disease prevalence is unknown. This study evaluated the concordance between HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) in the diagnosis of diabetes in the general population. Materials and methods The study was designed as a population based investigation, with participants being sampled from the Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Blood samples were collected after overnight fasting and analyzed within 4 hours after collection. HbA1c was measured with high pressure liquid chromatography (Arkray Adams, Japan). FPG was measured by the hexokinase method (Advia Autoanalyzer; Bayer Diagnostics, Germany). Diabetes was defined as HbA1c 6.5% or FPG 7.0 mmol/L. Prediabetes was classified as HbA1c between 5.7% and 6.4%. Results The study included 3523 individuals (2356 women) aged 30 years and above. Based on the HbA1c test, the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes was 9.7% (95%CI, 8.7–10.7%; n = 342) and 34.6% (33.0–36.2; n = 1219), respectively. Based on the FPG test, the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes was 6.3% (95%CI, 5.5–7.2%; n = 223) and 12.1% (11.1–13.2; n = 427). Among the 427 individuals identified by FPG as "pre-diabetes", 28.6% were classified as diabetes by HbA1c test. The weighted kappa statistic of concordance between HbA1c and FPG was 0.55, with most of the discordance being in the prediabetes group. Conclusion These data indicate that there is a significant discordance in the diagnosis of diabetes between FPG and HbA1c measurements, and the discordance could have significant impact on clinical practice. FPG appears to underestimate the burden of undiagnosed diabetes.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: