Aims We prospectively studied Japanese workers with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and/or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and analysed possible risk factors for diabetes, including psychosocial factors such as stress.
Methods The participants were 128 male Japanese company employees (mean age, 49.3 ± 5.9 years) with IFG and/or IGT diagnosed by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Participants were prospectively studied for 5 years with annual OGTTs. The Kaplan–Meier method and Cox's proportional hazard model were used to analyse the incidence of diabetes and the factors affecting glucose tolerance, including anthropometric, biochemical and social–psychological factors.
Results Of 128 participants, 36 (28.1%) developed diabetes and 39 (30.5%) returned to normal glucose tolerance (NGT) during a mean follow-up of 3.2 years. Independent risk factors for diabetes were night duty [hazard ratio (HR) = 5.48, P = 0.002], higher fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels within 6.1–6.9 mmol/l (HR = 1.05, P = 0.031), stress (HR = 3.81, P = 0.037) and administrative position (HR = 12.70, P = 0.045), while independent factors associated with recovery were lower FPG levels (HR = 0.94, P = 0.017), being a white-collar worker (HR = 0.34, P = 0.033), non-smoking (HR = 0.31, P = 0.040) and lower serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels (HR = 0.97, P = 0.042).
Conclusions In addition to FPG levels at baseline, psychosocial factors (night duty, stress and administrative position) are risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, while being a white-collar worker, a non-smoker and lower serum ALT levels are factors associated with return to NGT in Japanese workers with IFG and/or IGT.