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Early A1C Test Detects Diabetes Risk

Feb 6, 2014
A1c screening can reveal risk of type 2 before the disease begins to develop…. 

Data published in the European Journal of General Practice revealed 22.5% of patients in a study developed diabetes within five to eight years and that the odds of disease onset doubles for every 0.5% increase in A1c rates up to 7%.

The A1c blood test can reveal an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes before it develops — far earlier than previously believed, researchers in Israel say.


Dr. Nataly Lerner, Dr. Michal Shani and Shlomo Vinker of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine say 26 million Americans have diabetes, while another 79 million are thought to have "prediabetes," meaning they are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Lerner, in the Department of Family Medicine at Tel-Aviv University in Israel, and her colleagues, analyzed data on 10,201 patients, who had not been diagnosed with diabetes but who had received an HbA1c blood test between 2002 and 2005. Within five to eight years, 22.5 percent of these individuals developed diabetes. "Our study supports the idea that the A1c test, used to diagnose type 2 diabetes, can also be used at a much earlier stage to screen for the disease in the high risk population, like overweight patients," Lerner says in a statement.

The American Diabetes Association and World Health Organization have added the test to their guidelines as a criterion for diagnosing type 2 diabetes. An A1c level of 6.5 percent or more is an indicator of the disease and an A1c level of between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is an indicator of prediabetes, Dr. Lerner says.

European Journal of General Practice, Jan 2014