Background: We determined whether the overall lower prevalence of type II diabetes in England versus the Netherlands is observed in South-Asian-Indian and African-Caribbean populations. Additionally, we assessed the contribution of health behavior, body size, and socioeconomic position to observed differences between countries.
Methods: Secondary analyses of population-based standardized individual-level data of 3386 participants were conducted.
Results: Indian and African-Caribbean populations had higher prevalence rates of diabetes than whites in both countries. In cross-country comparisons (and similar to whites), Indians residing in England had a lower prevalence of diabetes than those residing in the Netherlands; the prevalence ratio (PR) was 0.35 (95% confidence interval = 0.22 to 0.55) in women and 0.74 (0.50 to 1.10) in men after adjustment for other covariates. Among people of African descent as well, diabetes prevalence was lower in England than in the Netherlands; for women, PR = 0.43 (0.20 to 0.89) and for men, 0.57 (0.21 to 1.49).
Conclusions: : The increasing prevalence of diabetes after migration may be modified by the context in which ethnic minority groups live.