Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the value of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) as an early diagnostic marker for diabetes mellitus in high-risk groups such as relatives of diabetic patients (siblings) and obese children. Background Diabetes mellitus is a chronic illness that requires continuing medical care and ongoing patient self-management education and support to prevent acute complications and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Patients and methods This study was conducted on 60 children attending the Genetic and Endocrine Unit of the Pediatric Department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University. They were divided into two groups: group I [45 children who were relatives of diabetic patients (siblings)] and group II (15 obese children). The studied groups were subjected to detailed history taking, thorough clinical examination, anthropometric measurements, investigations (routine and special investigations through the estimation of HbA1c), and family counseling. Results At the start, five (8.3%) children were in prediabetic stage (HbA1c level ranging between 5.7 and 6.4%); of them, two (4.4%) were relatives of diabetic patients and three (20%) children were from the obese group. At the end of the 3-month follow-up, with proper family counseling, a child from among the relatives of diabetic patients (2.2%) and another from the obese group (6.7%) were seen to have HbA1c within the normal range. At the end of 6 months of follow-up, one (6.7%) obese female patient was still in prediabetic stage. Conclusion The HbA1c test is an early detector of diabetes mellitus among high-risk groups. Prediabetes occurs because of the interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Controlling the environmental factors by proper family counseling can delay and even inhibit the emergence of diabetes.