J Korean Med Sci.  2012 Sep;27(9):1057-1061. 10.3346/jkms.2012.27.9.1057.

Usefulness of Glycated Hemoglobin as Diagnostic Criteria for Metabolic Syndrome

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. jsyoon9@ynu.ac.kr


The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is the clustering of cardiovascular risk factors and known as a powerful predictor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is used as one of the diagnostic criteria for diabetes and category of increased risk for diabetes. We examined the usefulness of HbA1c as a diagnostic tool for MetS and to determine the cut-off value of HbA1c as a criterion for MetS, in non-diabetic Korean subjects. We analyzed 7,307 participants (male: 4,181, 57%) in a medical check-up program, and applied the newly recommended guidelines of the International Diabetes Federation for diagnosis of MetS. The mean HbA1c was 5.54% in all subjects and showed no significant difference between genders. Using receiver-operating characteristic curve, HbA1c value corresponding to the fasting plasma glucose value of 100 mg/dL was 5.65% (sensitivity 52.3%, specificity 76.7%). The prevalence of MetS was 8.5% according to the IDF guideline and 10.9% according to HbA1c value of 5.7%, showing 69.5% agreement rate. The detection rate of MetS increased to 25.7% using the HbA1c criterion of 5.7% instead of fasting hyperglycemia. This study suggests that HbA1c might be used as a diagnostic criterion for MetS and the appropriate cut-off value of HbA1c may be 5.65% in this Korean population.


Metabolic Syndrome; Fasting Hyperglycemia; HbA1c

MeSH Terms

Blood Glucose/analysis
Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
Hemoglobin A, Glycosylated/*analysis
Metabolic Syndrome X/*diagnosis/epidemiology
Middle Aged
ROC Curve
Risk Factors
Blood Glucose
Hemoglobin A, Glycosylated


  • Fig. 1 Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in total subjects, male and female according to modified IDF criteria.

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