We compared markers of glucose homeostasis and their association with diabetes and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in Fukuoka, Japanese subjects (n = 1108) and age-, gender- and menopausal statusmatched participants in the Framingham Offspring Study (n = 1096). The markers examined included fasting glucose, insulin, adiponectin, and glycated albumin, as well as body mass index (BMI), use of medications, and history of diabetes. The results showed that IFG prevalence in Japanese men (15.9%) and women (7.4%) were 50% less than those observed in Framingham men (34.5%) and women (21.4%) (P < 0.001). However, the diabetes prevalence in Japanese men at 13.3% was twice as high (P < 0.01) as the rate in Framingham men at 6.5%, while these rates were similar in women. Median insulin levels in Japanese men (4.6 μIU/mL) and women (4.3 μIU/mL) were about 50% lower (P < 0.001) than those in Framingham men (10.8 μIU/mL) and women (9.9 μIU/mL), as were insulin resistance values (P < 0.001). These population differences were also observed after subjects were stratified by glucose levels. In conclusion, our data indicate that there is significantly less IFG, lower insulin levels, and insulin resistance, but higher diabetes prevalence in Fukuoka men than in Framingham men, indicating that insulin deficiency may be an important cause of diabetes in Japan.
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