The Rising Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Glucose Tolerance

D.W. Dunstan, P.Z. Zimmet, Timothy Welborn, M.P. Decourten, A.J. Cameron, R.A. Sicree, T. Dwyer, S. Colagiuri, D. Jolley, Matthew Knuiman, R. Atkins, J.E. Shaw

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OBJECTIVE - To determine the population-based prevalence of diabetes and other categories of glucose intolerance (Impaired glucose tolerance [IGT] and impaired fasting glucose [IFG]) in Australia and to compare the prevalence with previous Australian data.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A national sample involving 11,247 participants aged greater than or equal to25 years living in 42 randomly selected areas from the six states and the Northern Territory were examined in a cross-sectional survey using the 75-g oral glucose tolerance test to assess fasting and 2-h plasma glucose concentrations. The World Health Organization diagnostic criteria were used to determine the prevalence of abnormal glucose tolerance.RESULTS - The prevalence of diabetes in Australia was 8.0% in Trien and 6.89% in women, and an additional 17.4% of men and 15.4% of women had IGT or IFG. Even in the youngest age group (25-34 years), 5.7% of subjects had abnormal glucose tolerance. The overall diabetes prevalence in Australia was 7.4%, and an additional 16.4% had IGT or IFG. Diabetes prevalence has more than doubled since 1981, and this is only partially explained by changes in age profile and obesityCONCLUSIONS - Australia has a rapidly rising prevalence of diabetes and other categories of abnormal glucose tolerance. The prevalence of abnormal glucose tolerance in Australia is one of the highest yet reported from a developed nation with a predominantly Europid background.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-834
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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