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Review: glycated haemoglobin A1c and fasting plasma glucose screening tests have similar sensitivities and specificities for early detection of type 2 diabetes

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 Q How do the glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) tests compare as screening tools for early detection of type 2 diabetes?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★★☆ Endocrine ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1994 to September 2004), and bibliographies of relevant articles.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

English language cross-sectional studies that compared the HbA1C test with the FPG test as screening tools for detecting type 2 diabetes, reported sensitivities and specificities using the 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) as the reference standard, and reported HbA1c test results in a format compatible with that of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. 9 studies (n = 19 500, 13–92 y) published in 1998–2004 met the selection criteria; …

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  • For correspondence: Dr C M Bennett, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. c.bennett{at}

  • Sources of funding: Not stated.