Objective: Identifying individuals with high risk of type 2 diabetes is important. To evaluate discriminatory ability of multiple biomarkers for type 2 diabetes in a Chinese population. Methods: Plasma adiponectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, retinol-binding protein 4, resistin, C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor a receptor 2 and ferritin were measured in a population-based sample of 3189 Chinese (1419 men and 1770 women) aged 50-70 years. A weighted biomarkers risk score (BRS) was developed based on the strength of associations of these biomarkers with type 2 diabetes. The discriminatory ability was tested by the area under receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC). Results: Adiponectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, IL-6 and ferritin were independently associated with the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, and they were used to calculate the biomarkers risk score (BRS). After adjustment for the confounding factors, the ORs for type 2 diabetes and impaired fasting glucose with each point increment of BRS were 1.28 (95% CI 1.22 to 1.34) and 1.16 (1.12 to 1.20), respectively. Compared with those in the lowest quintile of the BRS, the participants in the highest quintile have an OR (95% CI) of 6.67 (4.21 to 10.55) for type 2 diabetes. The area under the curve for the BRS and conventional risk factors alone was 0.73 and 0.76, respectively, and substantially increased to 0.81 after combining both BRS and conventional risk factors (p<0.001). Conclusions: These data suggest that combining multiple biomarkers and conventional risk factors might substantially enhance the ability to identify individuals with type 2 diabetes. More prospective data are warranted to confirm this observation.
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