Diabetes study in Bavaria: known risk factors correlate with an increased level of HbA1c

Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2007 Jun 15;132(24):1315-20.
Martin S, Martin E, Klug C, Weinauer F, Landgraf R, Rapp S.

Blutspendedienst des Bayerischen Roten Kreuzes gGmbH, München, Germany.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Approximately six million Germans have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. A continuously increasing number of people with diabetes is expected within the next few years. Genetic disposition, age and especially lifestyle play an important role in the development of the disease. Diabetes normally develops during a long preclinical phase. During this preclinical phase an impaired glucose tolerance can easily be detected. Since an impaired glucose tolerance is often reversible the onset of diabetes can be prevented effectively by a change of lifestyle during this phase. The Bavarian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service therefore determined the diabetes risk among its blood donors during two one-week study periods.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The diabetes risk of the participating donors was assessed by using the FindRisk diabetes test published by the German Diabetes Foundation and the HbA1c test.

RESULTS: Approximately 12 percent of the participants (8187 persons aged 18-68 years) showed a moderate, high or even very high risk of developing diabetes within the next 10 years. The probability of developing the disease ranged from 17% (moderate risk) to 50% (very high risk). This corresponds to 3% of persons with unknown diabetes among the total population. An elevated HbA1c was found in approximately 5% of the donors in the first study week and in approximately 19% in the second study week. The analysis of the questionnaire and the HbA1c results indicated that elevated HbA1c values correlate with known diabetes risk factors. Persons with a body mass index greater than 25, an increased score in the FindRisk questionnaire and aged over 50 years more frequently showed an elevated HbA1c value.

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of a diabetes risk questionnaire and HbA1c testing could be used successfully for diabetes screening in an identified risk group.


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