Background: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Qatar and the Middle East is one of the highest in the world. It is estimated that about one quarter of the individuals with T2D are undiagnosed. Elevated HbA1c levels are an indicator of T2D or a pre-diabetic state. In this study we set out to examine which factors, such as anthropometric and socio-demographic risk factors, are associated with elevated HbA1c levels in a population without T2D.
Methods: We examined 191 subjects with no record of T2D. Anthropometrics and HbA1c were measured. Socio-demographic (age, gender, ethnicity and educational level) and health information were assessed through questionnaires. Elevated HbA1c levels were defined as >6.0% (>42 mmol/mol). Individual risk factors were examined in relationship to having elevated HbA1c levels using logistic regression.
Results: Thirty-eight (20%) study participants had elevated HbA1c levels. Participants from South Asian and Filipino descent were more likely to present with elevated HbA1c levels than Arab participants (adjusted odds ratios (OR): 13.30 (95% confidence interval (CI): 4.24, 41.79), p <0.001 for South Asian and 4.54 (95% CI: 1.04, 19.83), p= 0.04 for Filipinos). A body mass index of above 30 kg/m2 was associated with elevated HbA1c levels (adjusted OR: 2.90 (95% CI: 1.29, 6.51), p= 0.01). Neither gender nor educational level was associated with elevated HbA1c levels.
Conclusions: Elevated HbA1c levels in individuals not diagnosed with diabetes were most frequently found in the South Asian and Filipino immigrant population. Special attention should therefore be given to the early identification of T2D in these subjects.
- Ethnic ifferences
- Public health
- Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes
ASJC Scopus subject areas