The incidence and prevalence of diabetes mellitus in residents of Rochester, Minnesota, for 25 years (1945 to 1970) were determined from available medical records. The over-all incidence rate for diabetes is 133 new cases per 100,000 population per year (age-adjusted to 1970 U.S. white population). The rate increased with age for both men and women and was higher among men over 30 years of age. The average annual incidence rates per five-year period for juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus were low and variable and showed little change. Polyuria, polydipsia, glycosuria, lean habitus, loss of weight, and high levels of fasting hyperglycemia at initial diagnosis occurred more frequently in younger than in older patients.
The peak incidence in 1960 through 1964 and the decrease in the following five years may be a reflection of the introduction of the AutoAnalyzer method for blood glucose in 1958. The average annual incidence rates for 1955 through 1959 and 1965 through 1969 were essentially the same. The over-all prevalence for diabetes mellitus is 1.6 per cent, with a higher rate among men than among women over 40 years of age; among school children the rate is 0.1 per cent. Survivorship in the diabetic population is lower than that in the general population. The leading cause of death was coronary heart disease, the death rate from it being higher than for the general population.