To determine the risk factors for the development of NIDDM in Yonchon County of Korea.


We studied 1,193 Korean nondiabetic subjects at baseline who participated in a 2-year follow-up study on diabetes in Yonchon County. A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test was performed 2 years after the baseline examination. Age, sex, and anthropometric and metabolic characteristics at baseline were analyzed simultaneously as potential predictors of conversion to NIDDM. We also designed a nested case-control study to determine the role of hyperinsulinemia and/or hyperproinsulinemia in the conversion to NIDDM in patients with newly developed diabetes and control subjects matched for age, sex, BMI, and waist-to-hip-ratio.


At 2 years, 67 subjects developed diabetes, as defined by World Health Organization criteria. The age-adjusted incidence was significantly higher in men (6.4%) than in women (3.0%), and the incidence increased as age increased in both sexes. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed age, male sex, and fasting and 2-h glucose levels to be significant risk factors for the development of NIDDM, whereas waist-to-hip ratio and BMI were not. In a nested case-control study, baseline proinsulin but not insulin levels were significantly higher in subjects who progressed to NIDDM than in those who did not.


In the Korean population, β-cell dysfunction, as measured by high proinsulin levels, seems to be associated with subsequent development of NIDDM, whereas regional and general obesity and fasting insulin levels, which may be a surrogate for insulin resistance, were not.

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