A research study in the journal “PLOS One” shows that one can use random blood glucose levels to predict the risk of diabetes. And it will lead to early treatment, preventing further problems.
Early diagnosis of diabetes can permit preventive intervention in high–risk persons
The study shows that checking random blood sugar levels can act as a preventive method in people at high risk of diabetes. Diabetes is one of the significant health concerns all over the world. According to the CDC report, in the US, more than 7 million people with diabetes remain undiagnosed.
By early diagnosis of diabetes, one can make changes to halt or delay the advancing of prediabetes to diabetes. The changes in lifestyle and medicines can prevent diabetes from getting worse.
With a delay in diagnosis, diabetes can lead to other issues. Though screening can allow early detection of diagnosis, still many of the high-risk people aren’t part of it.
The ADA suggests a few methods for testing risk of diabetes. The outpatient doctor visits often include these tests. These methods include a fasting blood glucose (FBG) level, HgbA1c level, or an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
It also involves random blood glucose (RBG) level, together with the symptoms related to high blood glucose levels (BGL). For testing FBG levels, a person goes without eating for 8 hours, where a level of 126 mg/dL or more indicates diabetes.
HgbA1c level gives an idea about average BGL in the previous 2 – 3 months.
In OGTT, a person needs fasting and then intake of a glucose load for detecting diabetes. While, in random blood glucose testing, there is no need for fasting, and a level for 200 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes.
Values of random blood glucose testing can predict the chance of developing diabetes
The research team has assessed the data on these blood tests to check if RBG levels can anticipate the future risk of diabetes. The study involved the data of more than 900,000 patients, having no previous diagnosis of diabetes.
All the patients were having at least three RBG tests per year. Mostly, these tests were not part of diabetes screening and were part of doctor visits.
On follow up for five years, 10% of the study members had diabetes. This data has shown that high BGL, even if less than the threshold level, can predict which people will develop diabetes in the next five years.
The patients with at least two RBG levels of 115 mg/dL or more within a year have a high risk of diagnosing with diabetes during the next few years. And the RBG level of 130 mg/dL or more can further increase this risk.
Moreover, the results have shown that diabetes is rare in persons with blood glucose levels less than 110 mg/dL. Risk of diabetes can also predict its diagnosis.
These may include sex, age, race, smoking, high cholesterol levels, and high body mass index. Still, the study indicates that RBG levels can better anticipate the risk of diabetes than these risk factors.
The study suggests that persons with at least two RBG tests readings of 115 mg/dL or more require further testing. It may involve A1c or fasting blood glucose tests.
Random blood glucose testing is quite cost-effective and has a role in diabetes screening. By predicting the risk of diabetes, one can halt or control diabetes and its related problems.