Role of HbA1c in the screening of diabetes mellitus in a Korean rural community

Jae Hyun Kim, Gun Woo Kim, Mi Young Lee, Jang Yel Shin, Young Goo Shin, Sang Baek Koh, Choon Hee Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recently, the measurement of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was recommended as an alternative to fasting plasma glucose or oral glucose tolerance tests for diagnosing diabetes mellitus (DM). In this study, we analyzed HbA1c levels for diabetes mellitus screening in a Korean rural population. Methods: We analyzed data from 10,111 subjects from a Korean Rural Genomic Cohort study and generated a receiver operating characteristic curve to determine an appropriate HbA1c cutoff value for diabetes. Results: The mean age of the subjects was 56.3±8.1 years. Fasting plasma glucose and 2-hour plasma glucose after 75 g oral glucose tolerance tests were 97.5±25.6 and 138.3±67.1 mg/dL, respectively. The mean HbA1c level of the subjects was 5.7±0.9%. There were 8,809 non-DM patients (87.1%) and 1,302 DM patients (12.9%). A positive relationship between HbA1c and plasma glucose levels and between HbA1c and 2-hour plasma glucose levels after oral glucose tolerance tests was found in a scatter plot of the data. Using Youden's index, the proper cutoff level of HbA1c for diabetes mellitus screening was 5.95% (sensitivity, 77%; specificity, 89.4%). Conclusion: Our results suggest that the optimal HbA1c level for DM screening is 5.95%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes and Metabolism Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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