Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance. A prevalence estimate based on the Busselton 1981 survey

Med J Aust. 1985 Nov 11;143(10):436-40.


We have estimated the prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance from the Busselton 1981 Population Survey using the 1980 World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Standardized to the Australian non-Aboriginal population aged 25 years and over, the prevalence rates in this white community were 2.5% for known diabetes; 0.9% for newly discovered diabetes; 2.9% for impaired glucose tolerance; and 6.3% for all categories of abnormal glucose tolerance. There appears to have been a real increase in the frequency of diabetes since 1966. Using fasting serum C-peptide values and clinical criteria, 14% of all diabetic subjects were insulin-dependent. The male:female ratio for all categories of abnormal glucose tolerance was 1.4:1. Data from the United States indicate spectacularly higher rates for diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in the white population. A national study of the prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in Australia is recommended. For epidemiological purposes, a single blood glucose value two hours after a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test is sufficient to categorize glucose tolerance as defined by WHO.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / classification
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / methods
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prediabetic State / blood
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide