medwireNews: Screening of people aged 40 to 70 years using glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) would detect type 2 diabetes approximately 2 years earlier than when it is identified due to symptoms or incidental diagnosis, suggests an analysis of the UK Biobank.
Katie Young (University of Exeter, UK) and colleagues found that 1% of 201,465 people with no diabetes diagnosis prior to Biobank recruitment had HbA1c levels of 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) or higher at their baseline assessment.
These people were significantly older than those with lower HbA1c (median 61.1 vs 58.2 years), more likely to be male (60 vs 45%), and had a higher BMI (median 31.0 vs 26.6 kg/m2).
The median time to these people receiving a diabetes diagnosis was 2.3 years, but in a statement to media covering the virtual 56th EASD Annual Meeting, Young noted that 23% of people with elevated HbA1c at the baseline assessment still did not have a diagnosis 5 years later.
She said: “The identification of these patients for whom primary care records are available in UK Biobank gives us a unique opportunity to study the impact of this delay on the risk of developing complications in the future.
“While preliminary results suggest that delays in receiving a diagnosis for those with undiagnosed diabetes did not significantly impact diabetes-related complications in this group of people, further research is required to ascertain whether screening for diabetes in this age group would reduce diabetes-related complications.”
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