By Elisabeth Boyer

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Huse DM, Oster G, Killen AR, Lacey MJ, Colditz GA (1989) The economic costs of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Journal of the American Medical Association, 262, 2708±2713. King H, Zimmet P (1988) Trends in the prevalence and incidence of diabetes: non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. World Health Statistics Quarterly, 41, 190±196. King H, Rewers M (1993) Global estimates for prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance in adults. Diabetes Care, 16, 157±177. King H, Taylor R, Zimmet, Pargeter K, Raper LR, Beriki T, Tekanene J (1984) Non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM) in a newly independent Paci®c nation: the Republic of Kiribati.

Other epidemiological studies from the UK (Croxson et al 1991), Japan (Sekikawa et al 1993) and Australia (McCarthy et al 1996) report that about half of all diabetes is undiagnosed. A more global picture is obtained from a comparison of the prevalence of diabetes in 32 countries which found that in most populations over 20% of people with diabetes were previously undiagnosed and in some over 50% were undiagnosed (King and Rewers 1993). There are regional differences in the prevalence of known diabetes.

Both studies predated the new ADA= WHO criteria for diabetes. 4% for people aged 70±75 years (Yudkin et al 1993). 6% of women aged 70±75 years. The second study, from Melton Mowbray, estimated that 9% of people aged over 65 years had diabetes (Croxson et al 1991). Other European Countries The prevalence of diabetes and IGT in elderly Finns is remarkably high, with 30% of men aged 65±84 years having Type 2 diabetes and another 32% having IGT (Tuomilehto et al 1986). Less impressive rates were found in a study of 1300 younger subjects (aged 65±74 years), where 16% of men and 19% of women had diabetes and another 18% and 19% respectively had IGT (Mykkanen et al 1990).

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