Risk Assessment is Difficult for Young Adults with Diabetes

Predictive value of test originally developed for middle-aged adults proves limited

FRIDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- An attempt to devise a risk assessment tool for predicting the development of diabetes in young adults proved unsuccessful, researchers report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Arch G. Mainous III, Ph.D., of the University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues used the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities model, created to analyze individuals aged 45 to 64, to develop a scoring strategy for diabetes based on six risk factors. This model was applied to 2,543 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study who were 18 to 30 years old and diabetes-free at enrollment. Over a follow-up period of 10 years, about 100 of these young subjects developed diabetes (3.9 percent).

The multivariable diabetes risk score did not predict the development of diabetes any better than using body mass index alone. Adding family history of diabetes as a variable did not enhance its predictive value.

"These findings suggest that more work is needed to create an effective strategy for identifying young adults at high risk for developing diabetes," the authors conclude.

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