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To determine the prevalence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and hypertension in a rural community of Bangladesh.A cluster sampling of 1,005 subjects >15 years of age in the rural community of Dohar was investigated. Capillary blood glucose of fasting and 2 h after 75 g oral glucose (2hBG) were estimated. World Health Organization criteria were used for diagnosis of NIDDM and IGT. Blood pressure, height, and weight were also measured.The crude prevalence of NIDDM was 2.1% (men 3.1, women 1.3%) and IGT was 13.3% (men 14.4, women 12.4%). Age-adjusted (30-64 years of age) prevalence was 2.23% (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-3.45) for NIDDM and 15.67% (95% CI 12.59-18.75) for IGT. Prevalence of hypertension with systolic blood pressure (sBP) >=140 mmHg was 10.5% and with diastolic blood pressure (dBP) >90 mmHg was 9.0%. Increased age was the risk factor for NIDDM, IGT, and hypertension; whereas increased BMI showed inconsistent association with them. Relative risk for sBP with higher BMI (<22.0 vs. >=22.1) was 1.94 with CI 1.55-2.43 and for dBP it was 2.2 with CI 1.40-3.46. Correlation of sBP was significant with age, BMI, and 2hBG. Similar correlation was also observed with dBP.High prevalences of NIDDM, IGT, and hypertension were observed among rural subjects. Increased age was shown to be an important risk factor for all these disorders, whereas BMI-associated risk was significant with NIDDM and hypertension but not with IGT.