Study: HbA1C test may not properly identify children with diabetes

NEW YORK — A test commonly used to identify patients with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition may not produce accurate results among children, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan.

The study, published online ahead of print in the journal Diabetes Care, tested 254 overweight children using both fasting and nonfasting methods. Researchers found that the recommended test, hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), missed more cases of prediabetes or diabetes, compared with other tests.

"We found that [HbA1C] is not as reliable a test for identifying children with diabetes or children at high risk for diabetes compared with other tests in children," said Joyce Lee, lead study author and a pediatric endocrinologist at U-M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. "In fact, it failed to diagnose 2-out-of-3 children participating in the study who truly did have diabetes."

Lee and colleagues said that an alternative testing method, a nonfasting one-hour glucose challenge test, may help better identify diabetes or prediabetes among youth.

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