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Diabetologia. 2006 May;49(5):822-7. Epub 2006 Mar 9.

The threshold for diagnosing impaired fasting glucose: a position statement by the European Diabetes Epidemiology Group.

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  • 1MRC Epidemiology Unit, Elsie Widdowson Laboratories, Cambridge, UK.


The category of IFG was introduced in the late 1990s to denote a state of non-diabetic hyperglycaemia defined by a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration between 6.1 and 6.9 mmol/l. In 2003 the American Diabetes Association recommended that this diagnostic threshold be lowered to 5.6 mmol/l. The justification for lowering the threshold has been questioned. This simple change in cut-off value creates a pandemic of IFG, with a two- to five-fold increase in the prevalence of IFG across the world. Such a change in threshold has far-reaching public health implications. The European Diabetes Epidemiology Group (EDEG) has reviewed the evidence for this lower cut-off point for the definition of IFG and concludes that the previous definition should not be altered. EDEG further recommends that the value of all categorical definitions of non-diabetic hyperglycaemia should be reconsidered.

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