Overlooked Glucose Values Correlate with Type 2 Diabetes Risk

March 8, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

Including often-ignored random blood glucose values in screening guidelines could help clinicians detect diabetes risk.

Including often-ignored random blood glucose (RBG) values in screening guidelines could help clinicians detect diabetes risk.

Researchers referenced that more than 8 million patients with diabetes and 80 million patients with prediabetes may be undiagnosed or unaware of their condition.

Considering these figures, they sought to gain a better understanding of the risk factors for undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes. What they found suggested that non-diagnostic RBG obtained during routine blood tests could improve the detection of these conditions.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2005 to 2010, researchers studied 13,792 non-fasting individuals without diagnosed diabetes. In this population, 1.9% had undiagnosed diabetes, and 20.2% had undiagnosed prediabetes by hemoglobin HbA1C criteria.

Slightly more than half of those with undiagnosed diabetes and about half of those with undiagnosed prediabetes had been screened for diabetes within the past 3 years, though the researchers noted that the majority of patients had seen a physician in the past year.

After adjustment for traditional diabetes risk factors, a single RBG≥100 mg/dL was strongly associated with undiagnosed diabetes, the researchers found.

“Although random glucose is not currently included in US diabetes screening guidelines, our findings demonstrate the potential importance of random glucose values in screening strategies,” the authors concluded in their study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

"We shouldn't ignore these values,” added lead study author Michael Bowen, MD, in a press release. “If we do, we are missing an opportunity to identify patients at high risk for diabetes.”