Date of Award

Winter 1-6-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Ike Okosun, MS, MPH, PhD, FRSPH

Second Advisor

Lynne S. Wilcox, MD


INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES: Current screening guidelines for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus note that there are discrepancies in diagnosing the disease using the fasting plasma glucose test, oral glucose tolerance test, and HbA1c in high-risk populations. The objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness of screening methods for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and pre-diabetes by race/ethnicity and gender.

METHODS: Secondary analyses of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2005-2008) were performed using SPSS 19.0. Screening outcomes were assessed and compared for a sample of n=10,566, NHW, NHB, MA, and Multiracial/other men and women. Analyses included cross tabulations, ANOVA and partial correlations to establish disease prevalence, effectiveness of screenings, and statistical significance.

RESULTS: It was found that the HbA1c test is comparable in precision, and is correlated with the FPG for racial and ethnic minorities. The specificities for detecting pre-diabetes using the HbA1c were higher (64-66%) for these groups than by using the standard, FPG screening method (42-49%). There were no strong, significant differences for screening effectiveness for men versus women.

DISCUSSION: This study revealed that the HbA1c test might be an effective method for screening for pre-diabetes in racial and ethnic minorities instead of the FPG test alone. Screening in high-risk populations will help delay the onset of T2DM, with increased prevention during the pre-clinical phase.


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