A study into a new oral glucose diabetes test has found that it may miss many cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes, and also over-diagnose black Americans if used as a screening tool.
The research, published in Diabetes Care, compared results from two different tests for diabetes in about 5,000 Americans who had not previously been diagnosed with the disease. One of the tests was an oral glucose tolerance test, considered the most effective screening and diagnosis test for diabetes, while the other measures hemoglobin A1c, which forms when extra glucose in the blood sticks to oxygen-carrying molecules in red blood cells .
However, the former test has been proved to be problematic, particularly in terms of the length of time it takes and the fact that you have to fast before it can be administered. The A1c test, on the other hand, is an easier blood test, you can eat or drink right up until the blood is draw, and it has also been shown to help people already diagnosed with diabetes to keep track of their success at managing the disease and knowing how at risk they are from diabetes-related complications.
Dr. Darin Olso, lead author of the study, said “A third of Americans with diabetes are believed to not know they have the disease. In order to intervene with useful medications, we have to be able to diagnose them.”

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