Researcher develops screening tool to identify patients with prediabetes

December 4, 2008

A third of Americans with diabetes do not know that they have it, and many more who have prediabetic conditions are unaware that they are at risk. A University of Missouri researcher has created a clinical tool to identify those at highest risk for having undetected hyperglycemia, impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and undiagnosed diabetes. If these conditions are identified early, patients may benefit from preventative strategies that can minimize progression to diabetes, other diseases and mortality.

"Diabetic risk factors are not equal and assessing a combination of risk factors can be confusing," said Richelle J. Koopman, assistant professor of family and community medicine in the MU School of Medicine. "A tool that weighs the relative contributions of multiple risk factors and creates an overall risk score will help clinicians decide which patients to screen for diabetes. The tool we have developed is easy to use and the screening can be done with pencil and paper. Patients can do it at a health fair or a physician's office."

The Tool to Assess Likelihood of Fasting Glucose Impairment (TAG-IT) is designed to use factors that are self-reported or easily measured. The six factors include: age, sex, BMI, family history resting heart rate and measured high blood pressure.

The average age of diagnosis for diabetes in the United States is 46 years old. However, patients are likely to develop prediabetic conditions at a younger age. In the United States, 57 million people have IFG. As type 2 diabetes becomes an increasing burden in younger populations, it's important to have a screening tool that can assess undiagnosed diabetes and IFG in people as young as 20, Koopman said.

"There has been increasing evidence that prediabetic states are associated with diseases and other complications, and strategies that prevent diabetes in those with prediabetes are effective," Koopman said. "The TAG-IT tool will help physicians assess patients' risk levels. Hopefully, knowing their TAG-IT scores will encourage high-risk patients to use preventative strategies and make positive changes in their behaviors. The tool has potential as a Web-based screening tool that could improve awareness and encourage compliance with lifestyle changes recommended by physicians."

The study, "Tool to Assess Likelihood of Fasting Glucose Impairment (TAG-IT)" was published in the Annals of Family Medicine and is co-authored by Arch G. Mainous III, Charles J. Everett and Rickey E. Carter.

Source: University of Missouri-Columbia

Explore further: Startup develops app to detect irregular heartbeats that can cause strokes

Related Stories

E-learning resource for diabetic foot care

March 7, 2017

A podiatry academic specialising in diabetic foot care has modernised an online resource designed to help nurses and other health professionals all over the country.

Recommended for you

Complex mechanisms in Gaucher disease unravelled

March 30, 2017

Gaucher disease is a genetic disorder of lipid metabolism. Sphingosine, a compound as enigmatic as the sphinx, plays a key role in this metabolic disorder. Scientists from the Bonn research center caesar have identified some ...

How math could make bones stronger

March 29, 2017

They may seem rigid and set in their ways, but your bones are actually under constant construction and deconstruction. They give up their nutrient treasures (calcium) to the body and then rebuild in a constant give-and-take ...

Sick stem cells point to better MS drugs

March 29, 2017

Doctors seeking a cure for an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis keep chasing a mirage: no matter how well a drug works in the lab, it never seems to help many patients in the clinic. But after closely examining stem cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.