Ethnic Differences in Diabetes Symptoms Among People Without Known Diabetes in New Zealand

  1. David Simmons, FRACP, MD1,
  2. Colin F. Thompson, FRACP2 and
  3. Michael M. Engelgau, MD, MP3
  1. 1Waikato Clinical School, University of Auckland, Hamilton, New Zealand
  2. 2South Auckland Diabetes Project, Middlemore Hospital, New Zealand
  3. 3Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  1. Address correspondence to David Simmons, FRACP, MD, Waikato Clinical School,Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand. E-mail: simmonsd{at}

National diabetes awareness programs often emphasize the importance of symptoms in undiagnosed diabetes. Here we describe the frequency of diabetes symptoms in a multiethnic community in New Zealand.

Randomly selected nondiabetic European, Maori, and Pacific residents were asked if any of six cardinal symptoms of hyperglycemia (thirst, weight loss, polyuria, boils, tiredness, and blurred vision) were present. Subjects were screened using random venous blood sampling as previously described (6). Those with a random glucose ≥6.5 mmol/l within 2 h of a meal, or ≥6.0 2 h after a meal, and a random 20% of others …

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