*Okeke Nduka Jude, Azodo E. C. and Ogbu Innocent S. I.


Background: A latent period of abnormal glucose metabolism precedes type 2 diabetes and it is associated with cardiovascular complications. Factors that facilitate progression into diabetes may include older age, over-weight and existence of other diabetes risk factors. This study determined the effects of advancing age, sex and weight on the development of glucose metabolism disorders in apparently healthy Nigerian. Methodology: 1,012 apparently healthy subjects aged 45 years and above were recruited for the study. Their anthropometric parameters were measured using standard methods and plasma glucose was measured using glucose oxidase method. Diagnosis of diabetes and pre-diabetes was made according to WHO criteria. Results: A total of 173 subjects had pre-diabetes, (PD), giving a prevalence of 17.0%. its prevalence declined from 18.4% in the 4th decade to 15.6% in the 5th, 9.6% in the 6th and then increased to 41.9% in the 7th decade and beyond, of life. The highest prevalence of impaired fasting glycaemia, (IFG), was recorded in the 4th decade of life while that of impaired glucose tolerance, (IGT), occurred in the 5th. A slightly greater percentage of males, 17.9%, than females, 16.7%, had pre-diabetes. In the male group, pre-diabetes was common in the 4th and 7th decade while in the female group prevalence was more evenly distributed through the years. Unreported diabetes was detected in 87 subjects, giving a prevalence of 8.6% of the study population, most of them in the 50 – 69 years age bracket. It was more prevalent in the female subjects, 11.1% than in the male subjects 4.4%. among the male pre-diabetes subjects, peak values for these parameters occurred much earlier, 40 – 59 years range. Conclusion: The report showed high prevalence of abnormal glucose metabolism and un-reported diabetes mellitus (URDM), in the apparently healthy population. Age, sex and weight affect glucose metabolism adversely. IGT is a better predictor of future diabetes than IFG and the 5th decade of life is most crucial in the progression of PD to diabetes. Screening for glucose metabolic disorders is better done using OGTT/2hppG than FPG. The need for regular screening of the population for glucose intolerance was highlighted in order to reduce the incidence of diabetes and its complications.

Keywords: Pre-diabetes, un-reported diabetes mellitus, impaired fasting glycaemia, impaired glucose tolerance, age, sex, weight.

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