Ten-year incidence of diabetes in older Australians: the Blue Mountains Eye Study

Med J Aust. 2007 Feb 5;186(3):131-5. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb00836.x.


Objective: To estimate the incidence of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose (IFG), and increased risk associated with the metabolic syndrome, in a representative population-based sample of older Australians.

Design, setting and participants: The Blue Mountains Eye Study examined 3654 residents aged 49 + years (82.4% response rate) during 1992-1994, and re-examined 2335 (75.1% of survivors) during 1997-1999 and 1952 (75.6% of survivors) during 2002-2004; 2123 participants with normal blood glucose levels at baseline were considered at risk of developing incident diabetes.

Main outcome measures: Incident diabetes (or IFG) was defined in participants at risk who were newly diagnosed by a physician during the follow-up or found to have a fasting blood glucose level >or= 7.0 mmol/L (or 5.6-6.9 mmol/L). Kaplan-Meier cumulative 10-year incidence was calculated.

Results: The overall 10-year incidence of diabetes and IFG was 9.3% and 15.8%, respectively. Participants with metabolic syndrome at baseline had a higher risk of incident diabetes than those without metabolic syndrome (29.2% v 8.6%). Baseline factors associated with incident diabetes were elevated fasting glucose level (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.5; 95% CI, 3.4-6.1 per mmol/L), obesity (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-2.8), diabetes family history (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.5), current smoking (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.0-2.7) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol level < 1.0 mmol/L (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.5-3.8). Similar baseline factors were associated with incident IFG.

Conclusion: This population-based study provides data on the incidence of diabetes and IFG in an older, predominantly white population, and confirms that metabolic and lifestyle factors are major risk factors for diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose