Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 848–853 | Cite as

Living with Diabetes: Personal Interviews with Pakistani Women in Norway

  • Walaa AbuelmagdEmail author
  • Helle Håkonsen
  • Khadijah Qurrat-ul-Ain Mahmood
  • Najmeh Taghizadeh
  • Else-Lydia Toverud
Original Paper


The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes (T2D) among Pakistani women in Norway is remarkably high. This study aims to assess how they live with the disease and their response to lifestyle and medical information. 120 Pakistani women living in Norway (mean age: 55.7 years) were personally interviewed about their T2D using a structured questionnaire (response rate: 95%). The participants were first-generation immigrants (mean residence time: 28.7 years) of whom 27% were illiterates. Poor health was reported by one-third, and 71% had developed macrovascular comorbidities. A majority reported physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet included religious fasting. One-third was not able to self-measure their blood glucose. There was a great variation in antidiabetic drug regimens and one-fourth had to use insulin in addition to tablets. Pakistani women in Norway showed suboptimal control of their T2D in terms of lifestyle habits, comorbidities and drug use. Low literacy and cultural factors seem to challenge adherence to lifestyle and medical information.


Adherence Diabetes Immigrants Norway Ramadan fasting 



A grant was received from the Norwegian Pharmaceutical Society and used to fund gift cards to the women who participated in the study. We would also like to thank all key representatives who gave us permission to recruit participants at their premises and to all the Pakistani women who participated in the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics was contacted about the study. Approval was considered not required. The study protocol was referred to The Norwegian Social Science Data Services to be reviewed and the study was thereafter approved by them.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walaa Abuelmagd
    • 1
    Email author
  • Helle Håkonsen
    • 1
  • Khadijah Qurrat-ul-Ain Mahmood
    • 1
  • Najmeh Taghizadeh
    • 1
  • Else-Lydia Toverud
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Pharmacy, School of PharmacyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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