Introduction: Varying prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes have been observed in different parts of the southern state of Kerala, India which is in an advanced stage of epidemiologic transition. Social patterning is evident in diabetes and therefore it was decided to undertake a study on estimating the prevalence of diabetes and associated social determinants.
Methodology: The adopted local self administration unit of the Medical College which is also the field practice area with a population of 25,096 was taken for the study. All the households in the area were visited and the details regarding self reported diabetes was collected after obtaining informed consent and analysis done by multivariate logistic regression.
Result: The prevalence of self reported diabetes in this coastal area was found to be low at 7.4%. Type 2 diabetes was also found to occur significantly earlier among the respondents belonging to the below poverty line. Age above 40 years (OR 2 95% CI 1.5-2.7, p=.000), marital status (OR 1.9 95% CI 1.1-2.1, p=.006) presence of comorbidities (OR 635 95% CI 389-969, p=.000), more than 8 years of schooling (OR 0.64 95% CI 0.46-0.86, p=.004), living conditions as represented by presence of household source of drinking water(OR 1.4 95% CI 1.01-1.5) were found to be independent predictors. Though there was increasing trend of diabetes among the forward caste line families after backward logistic regression this disappeared leaving behind the proxy of socioeconomic status, household source of drinking water.
Conclusion: Though, the state of Kerala is in an advanced stage of epidemiologic transition, coastal areas are still in the earlier phases of transition with low prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Higher education and better living conditions are important social determinants of diabetes though further studies are necessary to delineate the impact of economic status and education.
Keywords: Coastal Areas; Social Determinants; Type2 Diabetes.