• pre-diabetes;
  • duration;
  • epidemiology;
  • screening


Objective: Interventions for individuals with pre-diabetes are efficacious, however, identification of people with pre-diabetes does not occur in Australia. This study aims to calculate the duration of pre-diabetes, in order to provide supporting evidence for a screening program.

Methods: We carried out a systematic review and random effects meta-analysis to identify if an increased risk of mortality is present in people with pre-diabetes. The result of this meta-analysis as well as information on prevalence, remission of pre-diabetes and transition to diabetes from an Australian cohort study, were used in the software program DisMod to calculate duration.

Results: From 2,578 articles identified, 11 studies met the inclusion criteria. The pooled relative risk of all-cause mortality was 1.26 (1.17-1.34) with no sign of heterogeneity between the studies. The average duration of pre-diabetes was 8.5 years in males aged 30+ and 10.3 years in females aged 30+.

Conclusions: The duration of pre-diabetes in Australia is long enough to warrant a screening program. The finding is robust to sensitivity testing of very large variations in the epidemiological parameters.

Implications: If the interventions following screening are shown to be cost-effective, a strong rationale for the implementation of a screening program exists.