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Diagnosing Diabetes and Prediabetes
A number of tests can be used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes. They are as follows:
• An HbA1c level of 5.7% to 6.4% indicates a high risk of developing diabetes.
• An HbA1c level of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes.
FASTING PLASMA GLUCOSE TEST
• A person without diabetes or prediabetes has a plasma glucose level below 100 mg/dl.
• A person with impaired fasting glucose, or prediabetes, has a plasma glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl.
• If the fasting plasma glucose level rises to 126 mg/dl or above, the person has diabetes. (This must be confirmed with a second fasting plasma glucose test.)
ORAL GLUCOSE TOLERANCE TEST
• A blood glucose level no higher than 140 mg/dl two hours after drinking the solution indicates normal glucose tolerance.
• A blood glucose level between 140 and 199 mg/dl after two hours indicates impaired glucose tolerance.
• If the two-hour blood glucose level rises to 200 mg/dl or above, the person has diabetes.
Adapted from the American Diabetes Association position statement “Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus.” Diabetes Care 2012;35:S64–S71.
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