Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

The predictors of glucose screening: the contribution of risk perception

Pilar Lavielle12* and Niels Wacher1

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Epidemiology Research Unit, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Medico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Cuauhtémoc 330, Colonia Doctores, 06720, Cuauhtémoc, Distrito Federal, México City, México

2 Hospital General de Mexico, Federal Health Ministry, Mexico City, Mexico

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BMC Family Practice 2014, 15:108  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-108

Published: 4 June 2014



The prevention of type 2 diabetes is a challenge for health institutions. Periodic blood glucose screening in subjects at risk for developing diabetes may be necessary to implement preventive measures in patients prior to the manifestation of the disease and to efficiently diagnose diabetes. Not only medical aspects, but also psychological and social factors, such as the perception of risk (the individuals’ judgment of the likelihood of experiencing an adverse event) influence healthy or preventive behaviors. It is still unknown if risk perception can have an effect on health behaviors aimed at reducing the risk of diabetes (glucose screening). The objective of study was to identify factors that influence glucose screening frequency.


Eight hundred randomized interviews, which were stratified by socioeconomic level, were performed in Mexico City. We evaluated the perception of risk of developing diabetes, family history, health status and socioeconomic variables and their association with glucose screening frequency.


Of the study participants, 55.6% had not had their glucose levels measured in the last year, whereas 32.8% of the subjects reported having monitored their glucose levels one to three times per year and 11.5% had their levels monitored four or more times per year. Risk perception was significantly associated with the frequency of blood glucose screening. Having a first-degree relative with diabetes, being older than 45 years and belonging to a middle socioeconomic level increased the probability of subjects seeing a doctor for glucose screening.


Glucose screening is a complex behavior that involves the subjects’ perception of threat, defined as feeling vulnerable to the development of diabetes, which is determined by the subject’s environment and his previous experience with diabetes.

Diabetes; Risk perception; Glucose screening