The threshold for diagnosing impaired fasting glucose: a position statement by the European Diabetes Epidemiology Group

Diabetologia. 2006 May;49(5):822-7. doi: 10.1007/s00125-006-0189-4. Epub 2006 Mar 9.


The category of IFG was introduced in the late 1990s to denote a state of non-diabetic hyperglycaemia defined by a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration between 6.1 and 6.9 mmol/l. In 2003 the American Diabetes Association recommended that this diagnostic threshold be lowered to 5.6 mmol/l. The justification for lowering the threshold has been questioned. This simple change in cut-off value creates a pandemic of IFG, with a two- to five-fold increase in the prevalence of IFG across the world. Such a change in threshold has far-reaching public health implications. The European Diabetes Epidemiology Group (EDEG) has reviewed the evidence for this lower cut-off point for the definition of IFG and concludes that the previous definition should not be altered. EDEG further recommends that the value of all categorical definitions of non-diabetic hyperglycaemia should be reconsidered.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / prevention & control
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Fasting
  • Glucose Intolerance / blood
  • Glucose Intolerance / diagnosis*
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Prevalence


  • Blood Glucose