Fasting plasma glucose as a screening test for diabetes and its relationship with cardiovascular risk factors in Hong Kong Chinese

G T Ko, J C Chan, E Lau, J Woo, C S Cockram
Diabetes Care 1997, 20 (2): 170-2

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the use of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) in the diagnosis of diabetes and the relationship between FPG and various cardiovascular risk factors in a community-based Hong Kong Chinese population.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The results of 1,470 oral glucose tolerance tests from a prevalence survey for glucose intolerance and lipid abnormality in a Hong Kong Chinese working population were examined. Our previous report showed that an FPG of 5.7 mmol/l corresponded to a 2-h plasma glucose (PG) of 11.1 mmol/l, and we used this value as a cutoff value and examined the relationship between FPG and various cardiovascular risk factors in nondiabetic subjects.

RESULTS: An FPG cutoff value of 7.8 mmol/l gave a sensitivity of 20.0% and a specificity of 100% in the diagnosis of diabetes (defined as 2-h PG > or = 11.1 mmol/l). We divided the non-diabetic subjects (FPG < 7.8 mmol/l and 2-h PG < 11.1 mmol/l) into two groups: subjects with FPG < 5.7 mmol/l and those with FPG > or = 5.7 mmol/l and < 7.8 mmol/l. Subjects in the latter group were older, had higher blood pressure, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, 2-h PG, fasting and 2-h insulin, fasting serum triglyceride, VLDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and urinary albumin concentrations, as well as lower plasma HDL cholesterol and HDL2 cholesterol concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that an FPG cutoff value of 7.8 mmol/l, as recommended by the World Health Organization, was too high when applied to Chinese populations. As in the case of hyperlipidemia, plasma glucose concentration should be viewed as a continuum in terms of its relationship with cardiovascular risk.

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