Aims: To determine the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) and possible regional differences in Finnish adults aged between 45 and 64 years.
Methods: A population sample of 2642 subjects aged between 45 and 64 years living in three geographical areas in Finland was invited to an oral glucose tolerance test.
Results: The glucose tolerance status of 2087 subjects (79.0%) was determined. The age-standardized prevalence of DM in men and women was 10.2% and 7.4%, respectively (P = 0.020 for difference between sexes), and that of IGT 10.5% in men and 9.2% in women. IFG in men was more than twice as common as in women (13.5% vs. 5.0%, respectively, P < 0.001). Abnormal glucose tolerance was most common in southern compared with southwestern and eastern Finland. Of all diabetic subjects, 44% were previously undiagnosed.
Conclusions: The age-standardized prevalence of DM in 45- to 64-year-old Finns was within the range defined in previous studies on Europid populations. DM and IFG were more common in men than in women. Regional differences in the prevalence of abnormal glucose regulation suggest differences in lifestyle within an ethnically homogenous population.