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Diabetes Metab. 2007 Feb;33(1):30-6. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

Increased prevalence of diabetes among immigrants from non-European countries in 60-year-old men and women in Sweden.

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Center for Family and Community Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 12, allé Alfred-Nobels, SE-141 83 Huddinge, Sweden.



To estimate the prevalence of risk factors for diabetes in subjects of foreign origin compared to Swedish-born.


A cross-sectional study with subjects included from a random sample of the population of in Stockholm County, Sweden, among 60-year-old men and women. Number in the analyzed groups were Swedish-born n=3329, immigrants from Europe n=654, and immigrants from non-European countries n=123. The health screening including physical examination, laboratory testing and a questionnaire on medical, socioeconomic and life-style factors.


Men showed a higher prevalence of diabetes than women, 9.7% vs. 5.1% (P<0.001). Among European immigrants, no excess risk was present compared to Swedish-born subjects, 7.6% vs. 6.9%, sex-adjusted odds ratio (OR): 1.14 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83-1.57). Among non-European immigrants, prevalence of diabetes was two times higher, i.e. 14.6%, sex-adjusted OR: 2.19 (95% CI: 1.30-3.69), compared to Swedish-born subjects. When also adjusting for anthropometrical, socioeconomic and life-style factors, ORs were for European immigrants 0.95 (95% CI: 0.68-1.33), and non-European immigrants OR: 1.21 (95% CI: 0.65-2.26). Beside sex, i.e. female OR: 0.50 (95% CI: 0.38-0.66), the only significant covariate in full model was BMI-category, i.e. overweight OR: 1.83 (95% CI: 1.29-2.59), and obesity OR: 4.64 (95% CI: 3.25-6.63).


The prevalence of diabetes was found to be considerably higher among immigrants from non-European countries in Sweden. The excess risk was associated with above all to a higher BMI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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