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A fasting plasma glucose level ≥7.8 mmol/l was sensitive but not specific for identifying poor glycaemic control

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 QUESTION: In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are not using insulin, how do fasting plasma glucose (FPG) measurements compare with those of glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) in determining glycaemic control?


Comparison of 2 laboratory tests.


A family practice in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


1020 patients who were >40 years of age (mean age 64 y, 67% women), had type 2 diabetes (median duration 2.4 y), were not pregnant, and were not taking insulin.

Description of test and diagnostic standard

FPG levels were measured in venous plasma by the glucose oxidase method (Boehringer-Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany) and by the glucose dehydrogenase method (Merck, Darmstadt, Germany). HbA1c was measured using high performance liquid chromatography. The sensitivity and specificity of an FPG level of 7.8 mmol/l was calculated with reference to the HbA1c diagnostic standard cut points of 6.5% and 7.0%. These cut points …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: Dr M Bouma, Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Fax +31 20 44 48262.