Aims The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes using FPG and HbA1c and to examine their relationships with obesity and other risk factors in young female Emirati college students. Methods In this cross-sectional study we recruited 555 female college students aged 17-25, enrolled at United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, UAE. Anthropometric analysis, blood pressure, and various biochemical markers were measured using standard methods. Type 2 Diabetes, impaired fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and elevated HbA1c levels were examined in the study population as per the standards of medical care in diabetes, set out by the American Diabetes Association in 2020. Results Based on the HbA1c test, the prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes were 24% and 8.6%, respectively. Based on the FPG test, the prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes were 9.2% and 0.5%, respectively. The kappa statistic of concordance between HbA1c and FPG was 0.287, P < 0.001. Abnormal glycemic status was significantly associated with decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level (< 50 mg/dl) (p = 0.002) and elevated highsensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP) level (. 2.0 mg/L) (P < 0.001). Conclusions Using FPG to evaluate glycemic control seems to underestimate the burden of undiagnosed diabetes which could have a significant impact on clinical practice. Our data indicates an association between abnormal glycemic status with HDL and Hs-CRP. Further evaluation is needed to assess the impact of using HbA1c as a diagnostic test for diabetes in the UAE.
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