Aims: To estimate diabetes prevalence in immigrants from the Middle East in Sweden compared with Swedish-born subjects. This group accounts for around 15% of Sweden's non-European immigrants. Methods: Three samples were used: self-reported diabetes in a random sample (SALLS sample) of subjects aged 35-64 years in Sweden (n = 22,032); known diabetes among patients aged 35-64 years in primary care (PC) at four primary healthcare centers in Stockholm County (n = 30,679); and known and newly diagnosed diabetes in a random population sample of subjects aged 60 years in Stockholm County (n = 4106). Results: The odds ratio (OR) for subjects from the Middle East was: 1.69 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.96-2.99) in the SALLS sample; 4.43 (95% CI 3.38-5.56) in the PC sample; and 3.96 (95% CI 1.98-7.92) in the age-60 sample, compared with native Swedes. Subjects from European and other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries showed an excess risk only in the SALLS sample (1.43, 95% CI 1.11-1.83). Conclusions: Immigrants from the Middle East showed a four-fold higher risk of diabetes compared with Swedish-born subjects in two of the three data sources. More studies are needed to confirm these results, but the findings call for targeted preventative strategies in this population group.
- Cross-sectional survey
- Diabetes mellitus