High prevalence of glucose intolerance even among young adults in south India

P Raghupathy, B Antonisamy, CHD Fall, S Finney, FS Geethanjali, SD Leary, J Saperia, G Priya, R Abel, J Richard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


India is experiencing an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) in young adults. This study reports the prevalence of glucose intolerance, and insulin profiles, and their relationship to lifestyle factors in 2218 young adults (aged 26–32 years; 997 urban, 1221 rural) in south India. They were drawn from a cohort of 10,691 individuals born during 1969–1973 in Vellore and nearby villages. Family history, socio-economic status, physical activity and tobacco and alcohol use were recorded. Oral glucose tolerance tests were performed for diagnosis (WHO recommendations). Insulin resistance and secretion were derived from plasma insulin concentrations. Median BMI was 20.0 kg/m2. The prevalence of Type 2 DM and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) was higher in urban than in rural subjects (3.7% versus 2.1%, p = 0.02; 18.9% versus 14.3%, p = 0.002, respectively), while prevalence of impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) was similar in urban and rural populations (3.8% versus 3.4%, p = 0.04). Type 2 DM, IGT, IFG or higher insulin resistance and increment were associated with higher socio-economic status (more household possessions) and higher percentage body fat, body mass index and waist/hip ratio. Insulin increment was lower in men with higher alcohol consumption. Our data suggest high levels of glucose intolerance in young rural and urban adults highlighting an urgent need for preventive action to avert a public health catastrophe in India.
Translated title of the contributionHigh prevalence of glucose intolerance even among young adults in south India
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269 - 279
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT); Impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG); Type 2 diabetes mellitus (Type 2 DM); Insulin increment; Insulin resistance

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'High prevalence of glucose intolerance even among young adults in south India'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this