Screening for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in obese youth: evaluating alternate markers of glycemia – 1,5-anhydroglucitol, fructosamine, and glycated albumin

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Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is increasingly performed over the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) as the initial screening test for type 2 diabetes in youth. However, the optimal strategy for identifying type 2 diabetes in youth remains controversial. Alternate glycemic markers have been proposed as potentially useful tools for diabetes screening. We examined the relationships among fructosamine (FA), glycated albumin (GA), and 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) with traditional screening tests, HbA1c and OGTT. Youth 10–18 yrs, BMI ≥85th‰, and HbA1c <7.5% had a single visit with measurement of HbA1c, 1,5-AG, FA, GA, and a standard OGTT. Distributions of FA, GA, and 1,5-AG by HbA1c and 2-hour glucose (2hG) categories were compared. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC)-curves were generated to determine the cut points at which alternate markers maximized sensitivity and specificity for predicting prediabetes and diabetes. One hundred and seventeen, 62% female, 59% Hispanic, 22% White, 17% black, median 14.1 yr, and body mass index (BMI) z-score 2.3 participated. Median values of each alternate marker differed significantly between prediabetes and diabetes HbA1c and 2hG categories (p < 0.017). Only GA medians differed (p = 0.006) between normal and prediabetes HbA1c. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC-AUCs) for alternate markers as predictors of prediabetes (0.5–0.66) were low; however, alternate marker ROC-AUCs for identifying diabetes (0.82–0.98) were excellent. Although the alternate markers were poor predictors of prediabetes, they all performed well predicting diabetes by 2hG and HbA1c. Whereas the usefulness of these markers for identifying prediabetes is limited, they may be useful in certain scenarios as second line screening tools for diabetes in overweight/obese youth.

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