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Research Article

Ten-year follow-up report on Birmingham Diabetes Survey of 1961. Report by the Birmingham Diabetes Survey Working Party.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: (Published 03 July 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:35


In a diabetes survey in 1960-1, 808 patients from a whole-practice population who either had glycosuria or were used as age- and sex-matched controls were given a 50-g oral glucose tolerance test (GTT). Ten years later the test was repeated in 382 cases. Of the original group, 126 had died and a similar number refused the second test. The original GTT results were classed as normal or as showing GTT diabetes, lag storage, renal glycosuria, or miscellaneous abnormalities. Most of those who converted to florid diabetes came from the GTT diabetes group, all the remainder having shown another minor degree of abnormality in the test; 23% with GTT diabetes, however, remained unchanged, while 32% returned to normal or had only minor anomalies. Of the original lag-storage group 57% remained unchanged or became normal, though 24% had converted to a diabetic abnormality. Renal glycosuria was an innocent peculiarity. The various miscellaneous abnormalities tended to change and showed an excessive conversion to diabetes. There was no accelerating trend towards diabetes in the second five years of follow-up. Those who developed florid diabetes showed an excess mortality comparable to that of clinical diabetics in general. Those who remained normal had the lowest mortality, while those with minor abnormalities occupied an intermediate position.