Obesity and gender differences in the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Uganda

Nutrition. 2002 May;18(5):417-21. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(01)00726-2.


Objective: We assessed the severity of type 2 diabetes in urban and rural communities of Uganda and characterized this disease according to sex, obesity, and hypertension.

Methods: A total of 440 subjects was tested for high blood and urine glucose levels with the respective glucometers and sample strips. Body mass index and hypertension were determined by measuring height, weight, and blood pressure.

Results: In a random study conducted in the communities of the districts of Kampala and Mokono, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes was found to be about 8.1% (n = 148). An association between obesity, hypertension, and risk of type 2 diabetes was found among the women, of whom nearly 80% were overweight. However, the men, who were primarily lean, did not exhibit this same correlation.

Conclusions: These epidemiologic data suggest a variance from the strong correlation of type 2 diabetes and obesity seen in Western countries and most of Europe. Specifically, the etiology of this disease in Uganda is different between men and women. The reasons for this phenomenon are not well elucidated, but it is likely that a long history of obesity in women may genetically or environmentally predispose them to this disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Female
  • Glycosuria / urine
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Factors
  • Uganda / epidemiology


  • Blood Glucose