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INTRODUCTION: We examined the associations between long-term usual random plasma glucose (RPG) levels and cause-specific mortality risks among adults without known diabetes in China. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The China Kadoorie Biobank recruited 512,891 adults (59% women) aged 30-79 from 10 regions of China during 2004-2008. At baseline survey, and subsequent resurveys of a random subset of survivors, participants were interviewed and measurements collected, including on-site RPG testing. Cause of death was ascertained via linkage to local mortality registries. Cox regression yielded adjusted HR for all-cause and cause-specific mortality associated with usual levels of RPG. RESULTS: During median 11 years' follow-up, 37,214 deaths occurred among 452,993 participants without prior diagnosed diabetes or other chronic diseases. There were positive log-linear relationships between RPG and all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD) (n=14,209) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) (n=432) mortality down to usual RPG levels of at least 5.1 mmol/L. At RPG <11.1 mmol/L, each 1.0 mmol/L higher usual RPG was associated with adjusted HRs of 1.14 (95% CI 1.12 to 1.16), 1.16 (1.12 to 1.19) and 1.44 (1.22 to 1.70) for all-cause, CVD and CKD mortality, respectively. Usual RPG was positively associated with chronic liver disease (n=547; 1.45 (1.26 to 1.66)) and cancer (n=12,680; 1.12 (1.09 to 1.16)) mortality, but with comparably lower risks at baseline RPG ≥11.1 mmol/L. These associations persisted after excluding participants who developed diabetes during follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Among Chinese adults without diabetes, higher RPG levels were associated with higher mortality risks from several major diseases, with no evidence of apparent thresholds below the cut-points for diabetes diagnosis.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care

Publication Date





blood glucose, epidemiology, mortality, Adult, Aged, Blood Glucose, Cause of Death, China, Diabetes Mellitus, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies