Fasting Plasma Glucose in Screening for Diabetes in the Taiwanese Population

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To reveal the relationship between fasting and 2-h postload plasma glucose and to examine the appropriate fasting glucose cutoff as the primary screening test for diabetes.


We recruited 5,303 subjects from preventive services of the National Cheng Kung University Hospital. Exclusion criteria were age <20 years, pregnancy, known diabetes, and a history of recent surgery, trauma, or illness. All subjects received the 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. The relationship between fasting and 2-h glucose was examined. Sensitivities, specificities, efficiency, and predictive values were assessed at different cutoffs of fasting glucose for prediction of diabetes.


The best fit model for the relationship between fasting and 2-h glucose was fasting glucose = 4.914 - 0.060 x (2-h glucose) + 0.0144 x (2-h glucose) [2]. From this model, the fasting glucose was 6.0 mmol/l when 2-h glucose was 11.1 mmol/l. A fasting glucose with 6.25 mmol/l gave the same diabetes prevalence as the World Health Organization 2-h glucose criterion. When 7.8 mmol/l was the fasting glucose cutoff, the sensitivity was 28.5%. Lowering the cutoff from 7.8 to 7.0 mmol/l increased the sensitivity by 11.2% and slightly reduced the specificity and positive predictive value. If the cutoffs were 6.25 and 6.0 mmol/l, the sensitivity increased and the specificity and the positive predictive value decreased accordingly.


Our results suggest that fasting glucose as a screening criterion for diabetes could be revised downward to 7.0 mmol/l, because the slight reduction of positive predictive value was more than balanced by an apparent increase of sensitivity and insignificant change of specificity. Diabetes Care 21:1856-1860, 1998

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