Aims: To explore the relationship between family average income (FAI; an index of socio-economic status) and Type 2 diabetes in a region of mainland China.
Methods: Population-based cross-sectional study, conducted between October 2000 and March 2001 in administrative villages (n = 45) randomly selected from three urban districts and two rural counties of NanJing municipality, mainland China, with a regional population of 5.6 million. Participants were all local residents aged > or = 35 years old (n = 29 340); 67.7% from urban areas, 32.3% from rural areas, 49.8% male and 50.2% female.
Results: The response rate of eligible participants was 90.1%. The overall prevalence of self-reported Type 2 diabetes was 1.9%. After adjustment for possible confounding variables (age, gender, area of residence, body mass index, educational level, smoking status, occupational and leisure-time physical activity), participants in the higher and middle FAI categories were more than twice as likely to have Type 2 diabetes as those in the lower FAI category.
Conclusions: The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is positively related to socio-economic status (indexed by FAI) in Chinese at the population level. After controlling for potential confounding factors, people in higher socio-economic status groups are more likely to have Type 2 diabetes. These associations are consistent with other effects of epidemiological transition and identify a need for preventive initiatives.