Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) values alert screening participants with normal glucose measurements to diabetes risk

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) values alert screening participants with normal glucose measurements to diabetes risk

We announced last week that over a quarter of a million people were screened during our $1 per screening campaign (up to $200,000) benefiting the American Diabetes Association.

As we do in all of our employer wellness screenings, this campaign allowed us to alert individuals to their health risks, educating them and motivating them to make lifestyle changes that can help them lead healthier lives. 

Of the individuals screened with either a fasting glucose or HbA1c test, 30% were found to be within the prediabetes or type 2 diabetes range (either having a blood glucose measurement greater than or equal to 100mg/dL, or an HbA1c value greater than or equal to 5.7%).

  • 30% of those screened with an HbA1c and/or fasting glucose test were within the prediabetes or type 2 diabetes range
  • 35% of those with fasting glucose and HbA1c measurements had an elevated HbA1c but a normal fasting glucose

Perhaps more importantly, of those screened for both fasting glucose and HbA1c, we found that 35% of those with an elevated HbA1c had a normal fasting glucose. The value in the HbA1c test is that it gives participants an idea of their blood glucose levels over a two-to-three-month span, which may assist in identifying prediabetes and type 2 diabetes more so than a fasting glucose measurement, which only determines blood glucose levels at the instant the specimen is obtained.

In the Quest Diagnostics database in 2016, for every four employee participants who had glucose measured, only one employee participant had an HbA1c measurement. By offering only a glucose test as part of an employer-sponsored wellness screening, 75% of employers may be missing an important opportunity to give employees significant insight into their prediabetes or diabetes risk.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the total yearly cost of diabetes and prediabetes in the United States is $322 billion.* Additionally, those with diabetes have healthcare costs that are 2-3 times greater than those without diabetes.

As the nation’s leader in employer wellness screenings, we are working to both prevent and reduce the economic burden of type 2 diabetes in the United States through detection and promotion of lifestyle intervention programs.

Are you interested in hearing more about how we can help your organization lower the economic burden of diabetes? If so, contact us and we can tell you more about what we’re doing to tackle this devastating disease.

Be on the lookout next week for another exciting announcement from Quest Diagnostics Health & Wellness in our quest to tackle diabetes.

 

*“The Cost of Diabetes.” American Diabetes Association. 2015.

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