Impaired glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes in apparently healthy senior citizens

Medina Escobar, Pedro; Moser, Michel; Risch, Lorenz; Risch, Martin; Nydegger, Urs Ernst; Stanga, Zeno Giovanni (2015). Impaired glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes in apparently healthy senior citizens. Swiss medical weekly, 145, w14209. EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag 10.4414/smw.2015.14209

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STUDY PRINCIPLE To estimate the prevalence of unknown impaired glucose metabolism, also referred to as prediabetes (PreD), and unknown type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) among subjectively healthy Swiss senior citizens. The fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels were used for screening. A total of 1 362 subjects were included (613 men and 749 women; age range 60-99 years). Subjects with known T2DM were excluded. METHODS The FPG was processed immediately for analysis under standardised preanalytical conditions in a cross-sectional cohort study; plasma glucose levels were measured by means of the hexokinase procedure, and HbA1c was measured chromatographically and classified using the current American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria. RESULTS The crude prevalence of individuals unaware of having prediabetic FPG or HbA1c levels, was 64.5% (n = 878). Analogously, unknown T2DM was found in 8.4% (n = 114) On the basis of HbA1c criteria alone, significantly more subjects with unknown fasting glucose impairment and laboratory T2DM could be identified than with the FPG. The prevalence of PreD as well as of T2DM increased with age. The mean HOMA indices (homeostasis model assessment) for the different age groups, between 2.12 and 2.59, are consistent with clinically hidden disease and are in agreement with the largely orderly Body Mass Indices found in the normal range. CONCLUSIONS Laboratory evidence of impaired glucose metabolism and, to a lesser extent, unknown T2DM, has a high prevalence among subjectively healthy older Swiss individuals. Laboratory identification of people with unknown out-of-range glucose values and overt diabetic hyperglycaemia might improve the prognosis by delaying the emergence of overt disease.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition

UniBE Contributor:

Stanga, Zeno Giovanni


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Markus Laimer

Date Deposited:

30 Mar 2016 13:37

Last Modified:

01 Apr 2016 16:50

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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