Diabetes diagnosis with HbA1c detects more women than men

DIAGNOSING type 2 diabetes with HbA1c rather than fasting plasma glucose (FPG) will identify fewer men with diabetes than women, a researcher says.

A French study looked at incidence of diabetes using definitions of FPG greater than or equal to 7 mmol/L or HbA1c greater than or equal to 6.5% in nearly 4000 people aged between 30 and 65.

The study showed that only 5.3% of men had incident diabetes when HbA1c was used to define diabetes, compared with 7.5% when FPG was used, over the whole age range.

The incidence of diabetes in women was 3.2% when FPG was used and 3.4% when HbA1c was used.

Lead author Professor Beverley Balkau, a director of research at INSERM in France and a research fellow at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, said the findings suggested as most of the burden of disease was in older people, more women would be diagnosed with diabetes using HbA1c than was currently the case.