Estimation of diabetes prevalence among immigrants from the Middle East in Sweden by using three different data sources

P. E. Wändell, S. E. Johansson, C. Gåfvels, M. L. Hellénius, U. de Faire, J. Sundquist

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36 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-333
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-sectional survey
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epidemiology
  • Immigration
  • Prevalence
  • Sweden


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