Hemoglobin A1c testing alone does not sufficiently identify patients with prediabetes

Sophie Bersoux, Curtiss B. Cook, Qing Wu, Mary F. Burritt, James S. Hernandez, Patricia M. Verona, Marcia H. Larson, Carolyn S. Larosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Whether hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) values are suitable for diagnosing diabetes has been debated. We sought to assess the prevalence of elevated HbA1c levels in a prediabetes patient population. Oral glucose tolerance tests and HbA1c levels were analyzed for patients entering a diabetes prevention program between January 1, 2007, and September 13, 2009. We calculated the percentage of patients with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and/or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) who had HbA1c values in the 6.0% to 6.4% range or in the 5.7% to 6.4% range. The mean age of the 242 patients was 62 years; 64.0% were women, and 88.0% were white. Isolated IFG was detected in about 56.2% of patients and combined IFG and IGT in about 37.2%. Only 28.5% of patients had HbA1c values in the 6.0% to 6.4% range, whereas 65.3% had values in the 5.7% to 6.4% range. Our data suggest that reliance on HbA1c testing alone to identify candidates for a diabetes prevention program would miss a substantial number of eligible patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-677
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Hemoglobin A
  • Impaired fasting glucose
  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • Prediabetes
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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