Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Fasting Glucose in the Adult Population of Iran

National Survey of Risk Factors for Non-Communicable Diseases of Iran

  1. Alireza Esteghamati, MD1,
  2. Mohamad M. Gouya, MD, MPH2,
  3. Mehrshad Abbasi, MD1,
  4. Alireza Delavari, MD2,
  5. Siamak Alikhani, MD, MPH2,
  6. Farishid Alaedini, MD, PHD2,
  7. Afshin Safaie, DMSC, MPH2,
  8. Mehrdad Forouzanfar, MD, PHD34 and
  9. Edward W. Gregg, PHD5
  1. 1Endocrine Research Center, Valiasr Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  2. 2Division of Non-Communicable Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Tehran, Iran
  3. 3Endocrine Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  5. 5Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to A.R. Esteghamati, Endocrine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Keshavarz Boulevard, Tehran 14197-33147, Iran. E-mail: esteghamati{at}


OBJECTIVE—Despite concerns regarding a diabetes epidemic in the Middle East, internationally published data on national estimates of prevalent type 2 diabetes in Iran do not exist. With this article, we document a dramatically high prevalence of diabetes in Iran.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Our data are based on the results of the first Survey of Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases of Iran, 2005. In this national cross-sectional survey, 70,981 Iranian citizens aged 25–64 years were recruited.

RESULTS—We found that 7.7% of adults aged 25–64 years, or 2 million adults, have diabetes, among whom one-half are undiagnosed. An additional 16.8%, or 4.4 million, of Iranian adults have impaired fasting glucose.

CONCLUSIONS—The high prevalence of diabetes in working-age adults is an ominous sign for this developing nation. As the relatively young Iranian population ages in the future and urbanization continues or accelerates, the prevalence of diabetes will likely escalate.


  • Published ahead of print at on 5 October 2007. DOI: 10.2337/dc07-0959.

    A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

    The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Accepted October 3, 2007.
    • Received May 19, 2007.
| Table of Contents

This Article

  1. Diabetes Care vol. 31 no. 1 96-98
  1. All Versions of this Article:
    1. dc07-0959v1
    2. 31/1/96 most recent