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12-08-2012 | Diabetes | Article

Three alternative diabetes markers found


Free abstract

MedWire News: Experts have identified three alternative biomarkers that may be useful for picking up on diabetes risk.

In a study of individuals who were initially free of the condition, baseline levels of fructosamine, glycated albumin, and 1,5 anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) strongly predicted diabetes.

"Furthermore, the associations of glycated albumin and fructosamine with incident diabetes were comparable with that for A1C [glycated hemoglobin, HbA1c,]," report Elizabeth Selvin (John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) and colleagues.

The team says that despite growing interest in the use of the markers for monitoring short-term glycemic control, the study is one of the first to investigate their relationship with diabetes risk.

As reported in Diabetes Care, of 1299 participants included in the study, there were 119 cases of incident diabetes over a median follow-up period of 3.3 years.

The study showed that higher baseline quartiles of fructosamine and glycated albumin were significantly associated with a higher risk for diabetes in a dose-response manner.

Those in the highest quartile for fructosamine (241.4‑463.4 µmol/L) were 2.65 times more likely to develop diabetes than those in the lowest quartile (163.1‑216.1 µmol/L), while those in the highest quartile for glycated albumin (14.5‑34.8%) were at 3.28 times the risk compared with those in the lowest quartile (9.7‑12.6%). These associations remained significant after adjustment for fasting glucose and HbA1c.

In addition, baseline levels of 1,5 A-G were inversely associated with diabetes risk, with individuals in the highest quartile (22.1‑39.5 µg/mL) at 67% less risk than those in the lowest quartile (14.0‑17.9 µg/mL). This trend also remained significant after adjustment for fasting glucose and HbA1c.

"Our results suggest that elevations in these measures of short-term hyperglycemia may be useful indicators of a future diabetes risk, independently of single baseline fasting glucose and A1c [HbA1c] measurements in persons without a previous diagnosis of diabetes," say Selvin et al.

Additional studies are needed to investigate the associations of these alternative markers of glycemic control and long-term complications of diabetes and their potential clinical utility for monitoring glycemic control," they conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Sally Robertson, MedWire Reporter