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A novel testing model for opportunistic screening of pre-diabetes and diabetes among U.S. adults.

  • Author(s): Zhang, Yurong
  • Hu, Gang
  • Zhang, Lu
  • Mayo, Rachel
  • Chen, Liwei
  • et al.


The study aim was to evaluate the performance of a novel simultaneous testing model, based on the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score (FINDRISC) and HbA1c, in detecting undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes in Americans.

Research design and methods

This cross-sectional analysis included 3,886 men and women (≥ 20 years) without known diabetes from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2010. The FINDRISC was developed based on eight variables (age, BMI, waist circumference, use of antihypertensive drug, history of high blood glucose, family history of diabetes, daily physical activity and fruit & vegetable intake). The sensitivity, specificity, and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of the testing model were calculated for undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes, determined by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).


The prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes was 7.0% and 43.1% for pre-diabetes (27.7% for isolated impaired fasting glucose (IFG), 5.1% for impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and 10.3% for having both IFG and IGT). The sensitivity and specificity of using the HbA1c alone was 24.2% and 99.6% for diabetes (cutoff of ≥6.5%), and 35.2% and 86.4% for pre-diabetes (cutoff of ≥5.7%). The sensitivity and specificity of using the FINDRISC alone (cutoff of ≥9) was 79.1% and 48.6% for diabetes and 60.2% and 61.4% for pre-diabetes. Using the simultaneous testing model with a combination of FINDRISC and HbA1c improved the sensitivity to 84.2% for diabetes and 74.2% for pre-diabetes. The specificity for the simultaneous testing model was 48.4% of diabetes and 53.0% for pre-diabetes.


This simultaneous testing model is a practical and valid tool in diabetes screening in the general U.S. population.

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