Impact of anemia and red cell indices on the diagnosis of pre-diabetes and diabetes in Indian adult population: Is there a cut-off guide for clinicians?
Subramanian Kannan1, Chinthala Jaipalreddy2, Vellaichamy Muthupandi Annapandian3, Bangalore Venkatraman Murali Mohan2, Sharat Damodar4, Kranti Shreesh Khadilkar1, Kumbenahalli Siddegowda Shivaprasad1
1 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Health City, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Health City, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Academic Research, Narayana Hrudayalaya Foundations, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Health City, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Narayana Health City, 258/A Bommasandra Industrial Area, Hosur Road, Bangalore - 560 099, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: It is well known that anemia and red cell turn over affects the HbA1c value. Iron deficiency anemia increases the HbA1c and haemolytic anemia lowers it. However, the cut-off of haemoglobin (Hb) or red-cell indices when the HbA1c value becomes unreliable is not known. Aim: We sought to find out values of HbA1c and red-cell indices where there is considerable discordance between HbA1c and plasma glucose (PG) values in the diagnosis of diabetes (DM) and pre-diabetes (Pre-DM) making HbA1c values unreliable. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 237 non-diabetic subjects who attended our out-patient division of preventive health check-up clinics, between November 2016 and December 2017. Data was collected only from relatively healthy subjects who had voluntarily opted for undergoing a preventative health check-up (including a diabetes screening). Patients were classified as concordant (fasting and 2-hr post meal glucose values are in agreement with HbA1c) and discordant (values are not in agreement with HbA1c). Results: A total of 237 patients (73% males) with mean age was 47.2±9.7 years (range 25-75) were included in the study. The HbA1c definition group had more diagnosis of DM (153 vs 96) and but lesser numbers of pre-DM (66 vs 102) compared to the PG group. Out of 237 patients, 133 (56%) showed concordance and 104 (44%) were discordant. The FPG, 2h-PPBG and HbA1c are significantly higher in the concordant group. The Hb value and MCV were significantly higher (p<0.05) in concordant group whereas, RDW and platelets are significantly higher (p<0.05) in discordant group. The highest rate of discordance was noted in the HbA1c strata of 6.5-7% (72%) followed by HbA1c of 5-6.4% (42%) and least in the HbA1c strata >7% (20%). While no single Hb or MCV value could predict discordance, a RDW value >17 was consistently associated with discordance across all the HbA1c strata. Conclusion: A HbA1c below 7% is significantly influenced by red-cell turn over indices and clinicians need to perform additional testing using plasma glucose levels to confirm the presence of diabetes or pre-diabetes. In patients whose RDW >17, HbA1c should be replaced by 75gm OGTT as a test of choice for diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes.