AIM: To investigate associations between anxiety and measures of glycaemia in a White European and South Asian population attending community-based diabetes screening. METHODS: In total, 4688 White European and 1353 South Asian participants (aged 40-75 years) without a previous diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes underwent an oral glucose tolerance test and HbA(1c) measurement, detailed history, anthropometric measurements and completed the short-form Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory. RESULTS: Anxiety was significantly higher in South Asian participants (mean 34.1; sd 0.37) compared with White European participants (mean 29.8; sd 0.13). Significant correlations were not identified between anxiety and fasting (r = -0.01, P = 0.75), 2-h glucose (r = -0.10, P = 0.24) or HbA(1c) (r = 0.01, P = 0.40). CONCLUSIONS: Anxiety levels at screening were greater among South Asian people. Fasting, 2-h plasma glucose and HbA(1c) are not affected by anxiety during screening tests for diabetes. Current and proposed screening methods for diagnosis of diabetes are not affected by anxiety at screening.