To compare diabetes risk assessment tools in estimating risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and to evaluate cardiometabolic risk profiles in a middle-aged Irish population.
Future risk of developing T2DM was estimated using 7 risk scores, including clinical measures with or without anthropometric, biological and lifestyle data, in the cross-sectional Mitchelstown cohort of 2,047 middle-aged men and women. Cardiometabolic phenotypes including markers of glucose metabolism, inflammatory and lipid profiles were determined.
Estimates of subjects at risk for developing T2DM varied considerably according to the risk assessment tool used (0.3% to 20%), with higher proportions of males at risk (0–29.2% vs. 0.1–13.4%, for men and women, respectively). Extrapolated to the Irish population of similar age, the overall number of adults at high risk of developing T2DM ranges from 3,378 to 236,632. Numbers of non-optimal metabolic features were generally greater among those at high risk of developing T2DM. However, cardiometabolic profile characterisation revealed that only those classified at high risk by the Griffin (UK Cambridge) score displayed a more pro-inflammatory, obese, hypertensive, dysglycaemic and insulin resistant metabolic phenotype.
Most diabetes risk scores examined offer limited ability to identify subjects with metabolic abnormalities and at risk of developing T2DM. Our results highlight the need to validate diabetes risk scoring tools for each population studied and the potential for developing an Irish diabetes risk score, which may help to promote self awareness and identify high risk individuals and diabetes hot spots for targeted public health interventions.