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Open Access Research article

High prevalence of hyperglycaemia and the impact of high household income in transforming Rural China

Chaowei Fu1, Yue Chen2, Fadi Wang3, Xuecai Wang3, Jiangen Song3 and Qingwu Jiang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University; Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety, Ministry of Education, Shanghai 200032, China

2 Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8M5, Canada

3 Deqing County Centre of Disease Prevention and Control, Deqing County, Zhejiang Province, 313200, China

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:862  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-862

Published: 12 November 2011



The prevalence of hyperglycaemia and its association with socioeconomic factors have been well studied in developed countries, however, little is known about them in transforming rural China.


A cross-sectional study was carried out in 4 rural communities of Deqing County located in East China in 2006-07, including 4,506 subjects aged 18 to 64 years. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) was measured. Subjects were considered to have impaired fasting glucose (IFG) if FPG was in the range from 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L and to have diabetes mellitus (DM) if FG was 7.0 mmol/L or above.


The crude prevalences of IFG and DM were 5.4% and 2.2%, respectively. The average ratio of IFG/DM was 2.5, and tended to be higher for those under the age of 35 years than older subjects. After adjustment for covariates including age (continuous), sex, BMI (continuous), smoking, alcohol drinking, and regular leisure physical activity, subjects in the high household income group had a significantly higher risk of IFG compared with the medium household income group (OR: 1.74, 95% CI: 1.11-2.72) and no significant difference in IFG was observed between the low and medium household income groups. Education and farmer occupation were not significantly associated with IFG.


High household income was significantly associated with an increased risk of IFG. A high ratio of IFG/DM suggests a high risk of diabetes in foreseeable future in the Chinese transforming rural communities.