Choosing the most appropriate existing type 2 diabetes risk assessment tool for use in the Philippines: a case-control study with an urban Filipino population Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: As the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) increases in low- to middle-income countries, the burden on individuals and health care systems also increases. The use of diabetes risk assessment tools could identify those at risk, leading to prevention or early detection of diabetes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the appropriateness of 6 existing T2DM risk screening tools in detecting dysglycemia in Zamboanga City, Philippines. METHODS: This study used a case-control design in an urban setting in the southern Philippines. There were 200 participants in two groups: 1) those diagnosed with diabetes (n = 50; recruited from diabetes clinics) and 2) those with no previous diagnosis of diabetes (n = 150; recruited from community locations). Participants completed six tools (the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score [FINDRISC], the Canadian Diabetes Risk Score [CANRISK], the Indian Diabetes Risk Score [IDRS], the American Diabetes Association [ADA] risk score, an Indonesian undiagnosed diabetes mellitus [UDDM] scoring system, and a Filipino tool). Scores were compared to fasting plasma glucose levels, which are recommended in Philippines clinical practice guidelines as a valid, available, and low cost option for T2DM diagnosis. Appropriateness of tools was determined through accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive/negative predictive value (PPV, NPV), and positive/negative likelihood ratios. RESULTS: The Filipino tool had the highest specificity (0.73) and PPV (0.27), but lowest sensitivity (0.68). The IDRS and Indonesian UDDM tool had the highest NPV at 0.96, but were not amongst the highest in other scores. The CANRISK tied for highest area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC), AUC (0.80), but other scores were not noteworthy. Overall, the FINDRISC was the most effective with highest sensitivity (0.94), tied for highest AUC (0.80), and with middle scores in other variables (specificity: 0.45, PPV: 0.20, NPV: 0.95), when using the published cut-off score of 9. When increasing the cut-off score to 11, specificity increased (0.71) and sensitivity was not greatly affected (0.86). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the FINDRISC is more suitable than other known diabetes risk assessment tools in an urban Filipino population; effectiveness increased with a higher cut-off score.


  • Agarwal, Ragini Gina
  • Guingona, Monserrat M
  • Gaber, Jessica
  • Angeles, Ricardo
  • Rao, Suhasini
  • Cristobal, Fortunato

publication date

  • December 2019