Scientists in France have found that using the HbA1c test for diagnosing people with type 2 diabetes will detect more women than men. The results also suggested that the elderly were bearing most of the burden of diabetes, and that HbA1c would diagnose more women with diabetes than was currently the case.
The researchers compared the results of using HbA1c against that of the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test. They examined the incidence of diabetes using definitions of HbA1c greater than or equal to 6.5 per cent and FPG greater than or equal to 7 mmol/L for almost 4,000 people who were aged between 30 and 65.
Over the whole age range, the research revealed that just 5.3 per cent of men had incident diabetes when HbA1c was used to define diabetes, as compared to 7.5 per cent when FPG was used. To detect the incidence of diabetes in women, on the other hand, 3.4 per cent were detected when HbA1c was used, and 3.2 per cent when FPG was used.
Beverley Balkau, lead author on the study, commented “It’s difficult to say that diabetes will be more frequent or less frequent using glucose or HbA1c.”
She added “But I think what one can say is there is going to be more women, particularly older women, diagnosed with diabetes .”

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