Societal correlates of diabetes prevalence: An analysis across 94 countries

Karen R. Siegel, Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, Mohammed K. Ali, Neil K. Mehta, K. M. Narayan, Veerappa Chetty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Aims: To quantify relationships between societal-level factors and diabetes prevalence and identify potential policy responses. Methods: Using data from International Diabetes Federation, World Health Organization, World Bank, and Food and Agricultural Organization, we extracted recent estimates for country-level variables: total caloric availability; sugar, animal fat, fruit and vegetable availability; physical inactivity markers (vehicles per capita and value-added from service sector); gross domestic product per capita (GDP); imports; and age-adjusted mortality rate. We used generalized linear models to investigate relationships between these factors and diabetes prevalence. Results: Median global diabetes prevalence was 6.4% in 2010. Every additional percentage point of calories from sugar/sweeteners and from animal fats were associated with 5% (OR: 1.05, 95% CI 1.02-1.07) and 3% (OR: 1.03, 95% CI 0.99-1.06) higher diabetes prevalence, respectively, while each additional unit in fruit and vegetable availability was associated with 3% lower diabetes prevalence (OR: 0.97, 95% CI 0.93-0.99). One percent higher GDP from the service industry was associated with a 1% higher diabetes prevalence (OR: 1.01, 95% CI 0.99-1.02). Conclusion: Macro-level societal factors are associated with diabetes prevalence. Investigating how these factors affect individual-level diabetes risk may offer further insight into policy-level interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Agriculture
  • Diabetes
  • Global health
  • Health policy
  • NCDs
  • Societal determinants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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