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The rising prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance : the Australian diabetes, obesity and lifestyle study

journal contribution
posted on 2002-05-01, 00:00 authored by David DunstanDavid Dunstan, P Zimmet, T Welborn, M De Courten, Adrian CameronAdrian Cameron, R Sicree, T Dwyer, S Colagiuri, Damien Jolley, M Knuiman, R Atkins, J Shaw
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.

Abbreviations: 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



Diabetes care






829 - 834


American Diabetes Association


Alexandria, Va.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2002, American Diabetes Association, Inc.