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Trends in glucose testing among individuals without diabetes in Ontario between 2010 and 2017: a population-based cohort study

Chu A, Shah BR, Rashid M, Booth GL, Fazli GS, Tu K, Sun LY, Abdel-Qadir H, Yu CH, Shin S, Connelly KA, Tobe S, Liu PP, Lee DS. CMAJ Open. 2022; 10(3):E772-80. Epub 2022 Aug 23. DOI: https://doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20210195


Background — Early identification of people with diabetes or prediabetes enables greater opportunities for glycemic control and management strategies to prevent related complications. To identify gaps in screening for these conditions, we examined population trends in receipt of timely glucose testing overall and in specific clinical subgroups.

Methods — Using linked administrative databases, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of people aged 40 years and older without diabetes at baseline. Our primary outcome was up-to-date glucose testing, defined as having received testing at least once in the 3 years before each index year from 2010 to 2017, using linked administrative databases of people residing in Ontario, Canada. We calculated rates of up-to-date testing by age group, sex, ethnicity (South Asian, Chinese, general population) and comorbidities (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease).

Results — Over the 8-year study period, up-to-date glucose testing rates were stable at 67% for men and 77% for women (both relative risk 1.00 per year; 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.00). Testing rates were significantly lower in men than in women (all age groups p < 0.001) and lower in younger than older age groups (except those aged ≥ 80 yr). South Asian people had the highest testing rates, although among people aged 70 years or older, testing was highest in the general population (p < 0.001). Among people with hypertension, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease, annual testing rates were also stable, but only 58% overall among people with hypertension.

Interpretation — We found lower glucose testing rates in younger men and people with hypertension. Our findings reinforce the need for initiatives to increase awareness of glycemic testing.

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