Detection of impaired glucose tolerance and undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in UK South Asians: an effective screening strategy

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2008 Sep;10(9):755-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2007.00806.x. Epub 2007 Oct 15.


Aim: We tested a stepwise, community-based screening strategy for glucose intolerance in South Asians using a health questionnaire in conjunction with body mass index (BMI). Anthropometric measurements (waist and hip circumference, sagittal diameter and percentage body fat) were then conducted in a hospital setting followed by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to identify subjects at the highest risk and analyse the factors predicting that risk.

Methods: A health questionnaire was administered to 435 subjects in a community setting and BMI was measured. Subjects were graded by a risk score based on the health questionnaire as high, medium and low. Subjects with high and medium risk scores and a representative sample of those with low scores had anthropometric measurements in hospital followed by an OGTT. In total, 205 (47%) of the subjects had an OGTT performed.

Results: In total, 48.7% of the subjects tested with an OGTT had evidence of glucose dysregulation: 20% had diabetes and 28.7% had impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Logistic regression model explained 49.1% of the total variability. The significant predictors of diabetes and IGT were Blood Glucose Monitoring Strips (BMI), random blood glucose (BM), sibling with diabetes and presence of diagnosed hypertension or ischaemic disease. Most of these predictors along with other heredity diabetes factors create a composite score, with high predictability, as the receiver operating curve analysis shows.

Conclusion: We describe a simple, stepwise strategy in a community setting, based on a health questionnaire and anthropometric measurements, to explain about 50% of cases with IGT and diabetes and diagnose about 50% of cases from the population screened. We have also identified factors that predict the risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / diagnosis*
  • Glucose Intolerance / ethnology
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / ethnology
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose