The Kenya Diabetes Study

Type 2 diabetes is a rapidly growing problem in developing countries. This increase is due to changes in the life-style (e.g. diet and physical activity) in combination with genetic predisposition. Urbanisation is particularly important, apparently (because this conclusion is based on increases in prevalence) leading to a 2-4 times increase in the incidence of diabetes in developing countries all over the world.

We conducted a study to assess the prevalence, distribution and determinants of type 2 diabetes in Kenya in 2005-06 (data collection part). The study was conducted in three rural areas among the ethnic/life-style groups Luo (fishing-agricultural group), Kamba (agricultural group), and Maasai (agro-pastoralist group), and in an ethnically mixed group in the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi. Among the ~1,500 adult study participants, data on dietary intake, physical activity, body composition, liver fat, blood pressure, haemoglobin and resting pulse as well as socio-economic status were collected.