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Increased risk of type 2 diabetes with ascending social class in urban South Indians is explained by obesity: The Chennai urban rural epidemiology study (CURES-116).

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Mette Skar, Anne Berg Villumsen, Dirk Lund Christensen, Jørgen Holm Petersen, Mohan Deepa, Rajit Mohan Ranjana, Rajdendra Pradeepa, Viswanathan Mohan


The aim of this study is to determine the factors responsible for differences in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in subjects of different social class in an urban South Indian population.


Analyses were based on the cross-sectional data from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study of 1989 individuals, aged ≥20 years. Entered in the analyses were information obtained by self-report on (1) household income; (2) family history of diabetes; (3) physical activity; (4) smoking status; (5) alcohol consumption. Biochemical, clinical and anthropometrical measurements were performed and included in the analyses. Social class was classified based on income as low (Rs. <2000) intermediate (Rs. 2000-5000`) and high (Rs. 5000-20000).


The prevalence rates of DM were 12.0%, 18.4% and 21.7% in low, intermediate and high social class, respectively (P < 0.001). A significant increase in the risk of diabetes was found with ascending social class (Intermediate class: Odds ratio [OR], 1.7 [confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.3]; High class: OR, 2.0 [CI-1.4-2.9]). The multivariable adjusted logistic regression analysis revealed that the effect of social class on the risk of diabetes remained significant (P = 0.016) when age, family history of diabetes and blood pressure were included. However, with the inclusion of abdominal obesity in the model, the significant effect of social class disappeared (P = 0.087).


An increased prevalence of DM was found in the higher social class in this urban South Indian population, which is explained by obesity.


Asian Indians; South Asians; diabetes; obesity; social class; socio-economic status; urban
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1084-1089
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

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