What are the WHO diagnostic criteria for impaired glucose tolerance?

Updated: Sep 27, 2021
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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The World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) are an FPG of less than 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L), if measured, and a venous plasma glucose of 140 mg/dL to just below 200 mg/dL (≥7.8 to <11.1mmol/L) 2 hours after a 75-g glucose load with one intervening plasma glucose value at or above 200 mg/dL. [146]  The WHO notes that IGT is not a clinical entity but a risk factor for future diabetes and/or adverse outcomes and that the risk of future diabetes, premature death, and cardiovascular disease begins to increase at 2-hour plasma glucose levels below the IGT range.

These criteria are a better predictor of increased macrovascular risk than the ADA's current intermediate category of IFG or prediabetes. Presumably, patients with IFG are at increased risk for development of diabetes mellitus, but their risk for macrovascular disease does not appear to be the same as for patients with IGT (which is about the same as for patients with frank type 2 diabetes mellitus).

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