Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes and to identify the associated risk factors in the sample of adult Qatari population.
Design: This was a cross-sectional study.
Setting: The survey was carried out in urban and semi-urban primary health care centers.
Subjects and methods: The survey was conducted from January 2007 to July 2008 among Qatari nationals above 20 years of age. Of the 1434 subjects who were approached to participate in the study, 1117 (77.9%) gave their consent. Face to face interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire followed by laboratory tests. DM was defined according to the WHO expert group. Pre diabetes status was based on the presence of impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance.
Results: The overall prevalence of diabetes mellitus among adult Qatari population was high (16.7%) with diagnosed DM (10.7%) and newly diagnosed DM (5.9%). The impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) was diagnosed in 12.5%, while impaired fasting glucose was in 1.3% with a total of (13.8%). The proportion of DM was higher in Qatari women (53.2%) than in Qatari men (46.8%) and it peaked in the age group 40-49 years (31.2%). The age-specific prevalence of total DM and IGT increased with age. Risk factors were significantly higher in diabetic adult Qatari population: central obesity (p<0.001), hypertension (p<0.001), triglyceride (p<0.001), HDL (p=0.003), metabolic syndrome (p<0.001), heart diseases (p<0.001). Smoking habits and family history of DM were the major contributors for diabetes disease. The central obesity was associated with higher prevalence of DM and IFG among Qatari men and women.
Conclusion: The present study has found a moderately high prevalence of diabetes mellitus in the adult Qatari population. High proportion of pre-diabetes in Qatari adults will increase the prevalence of DM in the next few years. Smoking habits and family history of DM were the major contributors for DM. Early diagnosis of DM is of major importance to reduce the risk of these diabetes-related conditions.