Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Prevalence of diabetes in a predominantly Asian community: preliminary findings of the Coventry diabetes study.

British Medical Journal 1989; 298 doi: (Published 07 January 1989) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1989;298:18

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. D. Simmons,
  2. D. R. Williams,
  3. M. J. Powell
  1. Sheikh Rashid Diabetes Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford.


    To assess the prevalence of both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes mellitus in an area of predominantly Asian population the Coventry diabetes study is carrying out house to house screening for diabetes in people aged 20 and over in Foleshill, Coventry. In the first five of 12 areas to be studied 2130 of 2283 Asian (93.3%) and 1242 of 1710 white subjects (72.6%) aged 20-79 agreed to be screened. The prevalence of diabetes adjusted to 1987 demographic estimates was 11.2% in Asian men and 8.9% in Asian women whereas it was 2.8% in white men and 4.3% in white women. The excess of diabetes in Asian subjects was predominantly of non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and no significant differences in body mass were found to account for the higher prevalence. Diabetes had not been diagnosed previously in at least 26% of the white and 30% of the Asian diabetics screened, and it is estimated that in this community the condition remains undiagnosed in 42% of white and 40% of Asian diabetics.