The prevalence of NIDDM and associated risk factors in native Canadians

Stewart B. Harris, Joel Gittelsohn, Anthony Hanley, Annette Barnie, Thomas M.S. Wolever, Joe Gao, Alexander Logan, Bernard Zinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - To determine the true prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), NIDDM, and associated risk factors by age and sex in an isolated native community. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A community wide prevalence survey using a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was undertaken in the remote native reserve of Sandy Lake, Ontario, Canada. Measurements for obesity included waist-to-hip circumference, BMI, and percentage body fat. RESULTS - A total of 728 individuals were enrolled, representing a community participation rate of 72%. The overall crude prevalence of NIDDM was 17.2% (18.1% females and 16.0% males) and increased to 26.1% overall (28.0% females and 24.2% males) when age-standardized. The prevalence of IGT was higher in females compared with males (age-standardized prevalence of 19.8 vs. 7.1%, respectively). Females had a higher prevalence of obesity, IGT, and NIDDM occurring at younger ages. Measures of obesity and fasting insulin levels were significantly associated with NIDDM in the 18-49 age-group. CONCLUSIONS - The prevalence rates of NIDDM in this study population are the highest reported to date in a Canadian native population and among the highest reported in the world. Females appear to be at much higher risk of developing obesity, IGT, and NIDDM and at a younger age. Due to the high prevalence rates of IGT and NIDDM in this young population, there is urgent need to develop culturally appropriate community-based public health intervention programs before the long-term complications of diabetes have a devastating effect on the residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-187
Number of pages3
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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