Western Sydney LHD conducted a pilot study on patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) at Blacktown Hospital to assess the efficacy of HbA1c testing to detect diabetes and pre-diabetes in an area of high diabetes prevalence.
Opportunistic blood glucose levels were measured in all non-pregnant individuals who had blood collected after presenting to the ED for any clinical indication. HbA1c was automatically measured if the random glucose level was ≥ 5.5mmol/L. Diabetes was diagnosed if the HbA1c was ≥ 6.5% and pre-diabetes if HbA1c was between 5.7-6.4%.
Opportunistic testing for diabetes is effective as almost a third of individuals tested had undiagnosed diabetes. In addition, more than a quarter of individuals were at risk of developing diabetes. Early detection provides an opportunity to initiate preventative measures such as NSW Government's 'Get Healthy' program.