MONDAY, July 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Random plasma glucose (RPG) levels can predict development of diabetes, according to a study published online July 19 in PLOS ONE.

Mary K. Rhee, M.D., from the Atlanta VA Health Care System in Decatur, Georgia, and colleagues examined whether routinely available outpatient RPG would be useful for facilitating the diagnosis of diabetes in a retrospective cohort study of 942,446 U.S. veterans without diagnosed diabetes.

The researchers found that 94,599 individuals were diagnosed with diabetes over five years, while 847,847 were not. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.701 for prediction of diabetes diagnosis within one year by demographic factors and increased to 0.708 when adding systolic blood pressure, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and smoking. Prediction by baseline RPG alone was significantly higher (at least two RPGs at/above a given level: ROC, 0.878) and improved slightly when other factors were added (ROC, 0.900). Specificity and sensitivity were 77 and 87 percent, respectively, with at least two RPGs ≥115 mg/dL, and 93 and 59 percent, respectively, with at least two RPGs ≥130 mg/dL. ROC was reduced but remained substantial for predicting diagnosis within three and five years by RPG alone (ROC, 0.839 and 0.803, respectively).

“Random plasma glucose levels well below the conventional ‘diagnostic’ range appear to provide good discrimination for follow-up diagnosis of diabetes,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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