(HealthDay News) – More effective than body mass index (BMI) alone, the Tool for Assessing Glucose Impairment (TAG-IT) for adolescents (TAG-IT-A) is a simple screening tool that identifies adolescents who may have impaired fasting glucose, according to a study published in the June issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

In an effort to validate the TAG-IT-A, Katrina D. DuBose, PhD, of East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, and colleagues utilized data from 3,050 adolescents, aged 12 to 18 years, who had previously participated in the 1999 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The model was applied to NHANES 1988 to 1994 data to determine how well the score predicted fasting glucose at or above 100 mg/dL.

The researchers found that age, gender, BMI, and resting heart rate were all important predictors of impaired fasting glucose in this population of adolescents. Compared with BMI alone, the TAG-IT-A screening tool was statistically significantly better as a predictor of impaired fasting glucose (area under the curve, 0.61 vs. 0.55). In this sample, a TAG-IT-A score of 3 or higher correctly identified 50% and a score of 5 or higher corrected identified 76% of adolescents with impaired fasting glucose.

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“The TAG-IT-A tool is a simple measure that uses variables that can be obtained in community settings, and it is modestly better than BMI alone in predicting risk for impaired fasting glucose,” the authors write.

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