Objective: To analyse the relationships between body mass index, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, physical activity and the risk of type 2 diabetes in a French elderly population.
Design and subjects: We conducted a cross-sectional study on 1113 men and 1419 women aged 60 y or more, participating in the POLA Study.
Results: The prevalence of diabetes was two-fold higher in men than in women (19.1% and 9.3%, respectively). The anthropometric variables studied-body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and the waist/hip ratio (WHR)-were all positively related to the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. The strongest relationships were found for BMI in men and WHR in women. In both genders, sport activity and diabetes were inversely linked whereas no relationship was shown between the amount of household activity and diabetes mellitus.
Conclusion: In the elderly, overall obesity in men and abdominal fat accumulation in women appeared strongly related to diabetes. Sport activity was negatively and independently associated with the prevalence of diabetes mellitus.