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Editor's Correspondence
November 22, 2004

A Change in Definition Results in an Increased Number of Adults With Prediabetes in the United States

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(21):2386-2387. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.21.2386-a

The Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus recently reduced the lower cut point for impaired fasting glucose level (IFG)1 from 110 mg/dL (6.1 mmol/L) to 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L), thus redefining IFG as a fasting plasma glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6-6.9 mmol/L).2 This change in definition will increase the number of Americans with IFG and also the number with prediabetes according to the American Diabetes Association criteria. To examine how many additional adults will have IFG and prediabetes, we analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III; 1988-1994) and projected our estimates to 2000. In NHANES III, fasting blood glucose and 2-hour postload glucose testing was done only among subjects aged 40 to 74 years; therefore, we limited our analysis to this age group.

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