Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Routine blood test may identify people with pre-diabetes, cutting later treatment costs

Date:
January 7, 2011
Source:
Indiana University School of Medicine
Summary:
A simpler form of testing individuals with risk factors for diabetes could improve diabetes prevention efforts by substantially increasing the number of individuals who complete testing and learn whether or not they are likely to develop diabetes, according to a new study.

A simpler form of testing individuals with risk factors for diabetes could improve diabetes prevention efforts by substantially increasing the number of individuals who complete testing and learn whether or not they are likely to develop diabetes.

Related Articles


Approximately 60 million Americans, one-third of the adult population, are pre-diabetic. Thirty percent of these individuals will develop Type 2 diabetes in less than a decade, yet most don't know they are at high risk for the disease.

A study published in the January 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that the hemoglobin A1c test, a common blood test that can be quickly administered in a physician's office, accurately and easily identifies pre-diabetics.

The A1c test measures average blood glucose level over the past 8 to 12 weeks and does not require a person to return for additional testing after an overnight fast. Researchers, led by Ronald T. Ackermann, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist, report that the A1c blood test, which has been routinely administered to diabetic patients for many years, can also pinpoint pre-diabetes.

"Identifying more individuals with pre-diabetes through a simple test in a physician's office gives us a real opportunity to halt progression to the disease, which is clearly a win-win situation," said Dr. Ackermann.

"If you have high blood pressure or heart disease, or multiple other risk factors such as obesity, are over the age of 45, had a past episode of diabetes during pregnancy, or have a family history of the disease, your physician can administer a simple blood test which will show if you are pre-diabetic. If you are pre-diabetic, loosing as little as 10 to 15 pounds through diet and exercise can cut in half your chances of getting diabetes, greatly improving your health and lowering your need for health care," said Dr. Ackermann, who is associate director of the Diabetes Translational Research Center at the IU School of Medicine and director of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Community Health Engagement Program.

Fasting tests, which are currently used to screen for pre-diabetes are difficult to administer primarily because they usually require two visits to the physician's office and because patients often forget to arrive on an empty stomach when they return for the test. The A1c test can avoid both of these problems because it can be performed on a single visit, even if a person has eaten. It is estimated that currently only 7 percent of all Americans with pre-diabetes have been tested and are aware of their status.

"Type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly with the increasing rate of obesity and has reached epidemic proportions in this country. Identifying pre-diabetics and halting the disease could prevent millions of individuals from developing diabetes and would avert the very high future costs of treating it. Lifestyle interventions in the pre-diabetic stage offer benefit not only by preventing type 2 diabetes but also by reducing cardiovascular risk factors," said Dr. Ackermann.

In 2002, the Diabetes Prevention Program, a large clinical trial, determined that diet and exercise sharply lower the risk that a person with pre-diabetes will develop diabetes. In a 2006 study Dr. Ackermann reported that it would be cost effective for Medicare to pay for diabetes prevention at age 50 rather than to deny prevention benefits until age 65 when many individuals will have already developed the disease.

Since that 2006 study, health insurance companies have taken a much closer look at paying for structured diabetes prevention programs as a means to improve health and to help curb the runaway costs of health care. In 2010, the UnitedHealth Group, a large nationwide health insurance carrier, began paying for a diabetes prevention program offered by the YMCA of the USA. The health plans, however, only pay for this treatment when a blood test shows pre-diabetes.

"Since health plans are beginning to pay for pre-diabetes treatments, doctors now have a more compelling reason to encourage patients who have risk factors to complete a screening test," said Dr. Ackermann. "The more practical A1c test could help doctors perform testing on a much larger scale than ever before."

The new study, which looked at blood test results of 1750 individuals with pre-diabetes, was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Co-authors in addition to Dr. Ackermann are Yiling J. Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., and Edward W. Gregg, Ph.D., of the CDC, and David F. Williamson, Ph.D., of Emory University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ronald T. Ackermann, Yiling J. Cheng, David F. Williamson, Edward W. Gregg. Identifying Adults at High Risk for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Using Hemoglobin A1cNational Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2006. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2011; 40 (1): 11 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.09.022

Cite This Page:

Indiana University School of Medicine. "Routine blood test may identify people with pre-diabetes, cutting later treatment costs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106144745.htm>.
Indiana University School of Medicine. (2011, January 7). Routine blood test may identify people with pre-diabetes, cutting later treatment costs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106144745.htm
Indiana University School of Medicine. "Routine blood test may identify people with pre-diabetes, cutting later treatment costs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110106144745.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins