In the present study the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in a rural population in South India was assessed and its associations with body mass index and a family history of diabetes mellitus. Data were obtained from inhabitants of two villages located in the North Arcot District of Tamil Nadu. After an overnight fast, 467 randomly selected subjects, aged 40 years or over, were given 75 g glucose orally. After two hours the capillary glucose level was determined. The prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (2 h value ≥ 7.8 mmol/l and < 11.1 mmol/l) was 6.6% (31 subjects). Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (2 h value ≥ 11.1 mmol/l) was found in 23 subjects (4.9%). Of these, 53% were previously unknown. Age and sex adjusted mean body mass index was significantly higher among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance compared to subjects without glucose intolerance, with a mean difference of 1.4 kg/m2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.2, 2.6). A positive family history of diabetes was non-significantly higher in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. Subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus had a higher mean body mass index compared to subjects with normal glucose levels with a mean difference of 1.9 kg/m2 (95% CI 0.5, 3.3). A positive family history of diabetes was more common among diabetics with a difference of 20% (95% CI 10, 30). Our findings suggest that in a considerable proportion (11.5%) of the rural South Indian population aged 40 years or over glucose intolerance is present. These results may indicate that apart from other important causes of morbidity and mortality, a substantial proportion of the rural Indian population will suffer from cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the near future.

Diabetes mellitus, Impaired glucose tolerance, Prevalence, Rural population, South India, Tamil Nadu,
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Patandin, S, Bots, M.L, Abel, R, & Valkenburg, H.A. (1994). Impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes mellitus in a rural population in South India. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 24(1), 47–53. doi:10.1016/0168-8227(94)90085-X