The Rising Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Glucose Tolerance
The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study
- David W. Dunstan, PHD1,
- Paul Z. Zimmet, MD1,
- Timothy A. Welborn, PHD2,
- Maximilian P. de Courten, MD1,
- Adrian J. Cameron, MPH1,
- Richard A. Sicree, MPH1,
- Terry Dwyer, PHD3,
- Stephen Colagiuri, MD4,
- Damien Jolley, MSC5,
- Matthew Knuiman, PHD6,
- Robert Atkins, MD7,
- Jonathan E. Shaw, MD1 and
- On Behalf of the AusDiab Steering Committee
- 1International Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
- 2Department of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
- 3Menzies Centre for Population Health Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
- 4Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, the Prince of Wales Hospital, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
- 5School of Health Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
- 6Department of Public Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
- 7Department of Nephrology, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
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 ≥25 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 men and 6.8% 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 obesity.
CONCLUSIONS—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.
- 2hPG, 2-h plasma glucose
- AusDiab, Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study
- CD, Census Collector District
- FPG, fasting plasma glucose
- IFG, impaired fasting glucose
- IGT, impaired glucose tolerance
- KDM, known diabetes mellitus
- NDM, newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus
- OGTT, oral glucose tolerance test
- WHO, World Health Organization
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. David Dunstan, International Diabetes Institute, 250 Kooyong Road, Caulfield, Victoria, Australia 3162. E-mail:.
Received for publication 21 January 2002 and accepted in revised form 21 January 2002.
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