Aims: Prevalence of glucose intolerance-diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)-and of related conditions such as obesity and hypertension, was studied in six population samples in Mongolia in 1999.
Methods: Diagnosis of glucose intolerance was made on the basis of 2-h blood glucose concentration, according to criteria recommended by the latest report of a WHO Expert Group.
Results: Crude prevalence of diabetes was 2.9% (2.6% in men and 3.2% in women). Prevalence of IGT was 10.2% (9.3% in men and 10.8% in women). Age standardization to the standard world population of Segi resulted in a total sample prevalence of 3.1% for diabetes and 9.2% for IGT. Prevalence of abnormal glucose tolerance differed according to district of residence. Approximately one-third of the subjects with diabetes were diagnosed prior to the survey. Of those who were diagnosed previously, approximately one-half were not under any form of treatment. Subjects with abnormal glucose tolerance were older, more obese and had higher blood pressure and prevalence of hypertension than those with normoglycaemia. One-half of men and almost one-half of women were hypertensive. Three-quarters of the diabetic subjects were hypertensive. One-third of all subjects were centrally obese. Considering the conditions of principal interest-glucose intolerance, hypertension and obesity-one-half of all subjects demonstrated one or more of these conditions. Central obesity was the most common condition, followed by hypertension and then glucose intolerance. Central obesity and hypertension was the most common combination (17% of all subjects) and 4% exhibited all three conditions.
Conclusions: Non-communicable diseases are already a threat to public health in Mongolia. Although the prevalence of diabetes is not high by international standards, the relatively high prevalence of IGT suggests that the situation may deteriorate in the future in the absence of concerted action to prevent and control diabetes and related conditions.