The Best Cut-Off Value for HbA1c as a Screening Tool in Iranian Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

  • Seyedeh Neda Mousavi Mail Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, School of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran; Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Vali-e-Asr Hospital, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
  • Koorosh Kamali Department of Public Health, School of Public Health, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
  • Motahareh Mirbazel Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Vali-e-Asr Hospital, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
  • Maryam Jameshorani Metabolic Diseases Research Center, Vali-e-Asr Hospital, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
Glucose Tolerance Test, Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, Glycosylated Hemoglobin A


Objective: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a prevalent disorder which increases maternal and fetal complications. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is a traditional, time -consuming and intensive test which is poorly tolerated by pregnant women. To date, increasing evidence considered HbA1c as a screening tool and reported various cut-off values in different populations. In alignment with existing literature, we determined for the first time, the optimal cut-off value for HbA1c in Iranian women with GDM.Materials and methods: This case-control study was conducted in Valie-Asr hospital between June 2015 and March 2016. A total of 200 pregnant women who were diagnosed with GDM were selected as study cases. For the control group, 200 healthy women were randomly selected. Fasting blood samples were taken for biochemical analysis, and OGTT was done in all participants. Demographic and anthropometric indexes were measured. Performance of the HbA1c test was analyzed by the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve, and the sensitivity and specificity for different HbA1c cut-off points were calculated subsequently.Results: Analysis showed that the mean age (p < 0.001) and BMI (p < 0.001) were significantly higher in the GDM group compared to those in non-GDM pregnant women. GDM participants reported positive family- and previous history of GDM more than healthy pregnant women (p = 0.04 and p < 0.001, respectively). All the markers for Lipid profile were significantly different between the two groups (p = <0.001) except for total cholesterol. The rate of Caesarean section and neonate’s Apgar score were not significantly different between the two groups. The best equilibrium between sensitivity (80%) and specificity (76%) for HbA1c was 5.05%.Conclusion: Our results suggest that pregnant women with HbA1c of ≥ 5.05% should proceed with an OGTT. Further investigations with larger sample size are needed to provide more robust evidence for the diagnostic and screening value of HbA1c in identifying pregnant women with GDM.


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How to Cite
Mousavi SN, Kamali K, Mirbazel M, Jameshorani M. The Best Cut-Off Value for HbA1c as a Screening Tool in Iranian Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. J Fam Reprod Health. 11(1):37-42.
Original Articles