Increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance among 60-year-old Danes

Diabet Med. 2001 Feb;18(2):126-32. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-5491.2001.00417.x.


Aims: The age-specific prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) was estimated in 60-year-old individuals in 1996/97 and compared to the prevalence in 1974/75. The study also examined whether or not the change in prevalence of diabetes and IGT could be explained by changes in body mass index (BMI) and physical activity.

Methods: Diabetes and IGT were diagnosed by a standardized oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in two Danish population-based, age-specific, birth cohorts.

Results: The prevalence of diabetes in 1996/97 was 12.3% among 60-year-old men and 6.8% among women, representing an increase in diabetes of 58% in men and 21% in women compared to 1974/75. The prevalence of IGT was 15.9% among men and 13.1% among women, representing increases of 109 and 16%, respectively. A concurrent increase in BMI in the 22-year period between the two studies explained the increase found in the prevalence of diabetes and IGT.

Conclusions: A marked increase in the prevalence of diabetes and IGT among 60-year-old individuals over a 22-year period was observed - especially in men. The increase was fully explained by a concurrent increase in BMI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology*
  • Glucose Intolerance / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prevalence
  • White People


  • Blood Glucose