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Diabetes mellitus in Swedish middle-aged men

The study of men born in 1913 and 1923

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As part of a study of the epidemiology of diabetes mellitus in middle-aged Swedish men, the present paper reports the prevalence and incidence of diabetes and the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance. Two cohorts of 50-year-old men, representative of the corresponding male population of Gothenburg, Sweden, were examined in 1963 and 1973, respectively, and then followed until 1980. In the cohort of men born in 1913 (n=855) the diabetes prevalence (WHO criteria), based on a questionnaire and fasting blood glucose, increased from 1.5% at age 50 to 7.6% at age 67. In the cohort of men born in 1923 (n=226) the prevalence was 3.7% at age 50 and 4.0% at age 57. The overall prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance was 25% among men born in 1913 (age 67) and 18% among men born in 1923 (age 57). The cumulative risk of developing diabetes from age 50 to 67 was 7.8%. Variables associated with impaired glucose tolerance and newly found diabetes, when degree of obesity was considered, were systolic blood pressure and triglycerides, well known risk factors for both coronary heart disease and diabetes. Uric acid, fasting insulin and glutamic puruvic transaminase, recently discussed as possible risk factors, were also associated with impaired glucose tolerance and newly found diabetes. Thus, both impaired glucose tolerance and newly found diabetes were associated with a clustering of risk factors, not only for diabetes but also for coronary heart disease.


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Ohlson, L.-., Larsson, B., Eriksson, H. et al. Diabetes mellitus in Swedish middle-aged men. Diabetologia 30, 386–393 (1987).

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Key words

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • epidemiology
  • prevalence
  • incidence
  • impaired glucose tolerance
  • coronary heart disease
  • risk factors