Aims: To determine the prevalence of diabetes, impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in people aged >/= 40 years in urban communities of Nepal, comparing the fasting and 2-h plasma glucose (PG) criteria for diagnosis of diabetes and to relate the prevalence to age, gender and hypertension.
Methods: Field surveys of fasting and 2-h PG and blood pressure (BP) were done by cluster sampling in seven urban populations of Nepal. Of 1180 eligible individuals invited, 1012 (85.7%) aged >/= 40 years participated.
Result: The age and sex standardized prevalence of diabetes (known and newly diagnosed), IGT and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) were 19.0%, 10.6% and 9.9%, respectively. Of the total population, 30.5% (37.8% of men and 25.3% of women) had some abnormality of glucose tolerance. Of all diabetic individuals, 54.4% (53.8% of men and 55.1% of women) were undiagnosed. The prevalence of diabetes increased with age until the age of 75 years. The prevalence of diabetes was higher in men than in women (P < 0.001). The sensitivity of the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) criterion compared with either FPG or 2-h PG or both criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes was 70.5%[95% confidence interval (CI) 60.7, 78.8] and the corresponding sensitivity of 2-h PG criterion was 79% (95% CI 69.8, 86.1). The age- and sex-standardized prevalence of hypertension (BP >/= 140/90 mmHg) was 22.7%. Hypertension was less common in subjects with normal plasma glucose than in those with diabetes (18.8% vs. 36.7%). Similarly, of all subjects with hypertension, 29.1% had diabetes (known or newly diagnosed) and 43.0% had glucose intolerance of some form.
Conclusions: Our study shows that diabetes and hypertension are common and related problems in people aged >/= 40 years in urban Nepal. The overall sensitivity of the 2-h PG criteria was greater than that of the FPG criteria for diagnosing diabetes, except in subjects aged >/= 60 years.