The objective of this study is to ascertain if higher normal fasting glucose levels are also an independent risk of developing diabetes in an Asian population, and we thus analysed data from a cohort of healthy Japanese workers. We used data from the non-randomised trial on health promotion intervention, High-risk and Population Strategy for Occupational Health Promotion (HIPOP-OHP) Study. Diabetes cases and those who had fasting blood glucose levels equal to or greater than 100 mg/dl at baseline were excluded, and the Cox proportional-hazards model was used for the analysis. During the four-year follow-up of 2212 participants, we found 37 diabetes cases. In the multivariable model, people with blood glucose levels in the 4th quartile had a higher risk of diabetes than those in the bottom quartile; the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio was 2.52. The risk of diabetes abruptly rose in persons with blood glucose levels higher than 94 mg/dl (fourth quartile). A significant linear trend was not observed in the 1st to 3rd quartiles (p=0.726). In conclusion, higher fasting glucose level was associated with the risk of diabetes, and we found a threshold in the association between fasting blood glucose levels and risk of diabetes in an Asian population.
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