Rising Hemoglobin A1c in the Nondiabetic Range Predicts Progression of Type 1 Diabetes As Well As Oral Glucose Tolerance Tests

TrialNet Study Group, TEDDY Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE Biomarkers predicting risk of type 1 diabetes (stage 3) among children with islet autoantibodies are greatly needed to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis and facilitate prevention therapies. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Children in the prospective The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study (n = 707) with confirmed diabetes-associated autoantibodies (GAD antibody, IA-2A, and/or insulin autoantibody) and two or more HbA1c measurements were followed to diabetes or median age 11.1 years. Once confirmed autoantibody positive, HbA1c was measured quarterly. Cox models and receiver operative characteristic curve analyses revealed the prognostic utility for risk of stage 3 on a relative HbA1c increase from the baseline visit or an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) 2-h plasma glucose (2-hPG). This HbA1c approach was then validated in the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study (TrialNet) (n = 1,190). RESULTS A 10% relative HbA1c increase from baseline best marked the increased risk of stage 3 in TEDDY (74% sensitive; 88% specific). Significant predictors of risk for HbA1c change were age and HbA1c at the baseline test, genetic sex, maximum number of autoantibodies, and maximum rate of HbA1c increase by time of change. The multivariable model featuring a HbA1c ‡10% increase and these additional factors revealed increased risk of stage 3 in TEDDY (hazard ratio [HR] 12.74, 95% CI 8.7–18.6, P < 0.0001) and TrialNet (HR 5.09, 95% CI 3.3–7.9, P < 0.0001). Furthermore, the composite model using HbA1c ‡10% increase performed similarly to an OGTT 2-hPG composite model (TEDDY area under the curve [AUC] 0.88 and 0.85, respectively) and to the HbA1c model in TrialNet (AUC 0.82). CONCLUSIONS An increase of ‡10% in HbA1c from baseline is as informative as OGTT 2-hPG in predicting risk of stage 3 in youth with genetic risk and diabetes-associated autoantibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2342-2349
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


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