Diabetes mellitus and its risk factors among a middle-aged population of Iran, a population-based study

  • Hossein Ebrahimi
  • Mohammad Hassan Emamian
  • Mohammad Shariati
  • Hassan Hashemi
  • Akbar FotouhiEmail author
Original Article


Diabetes is a major health problem around the world. The risk of diabetes is increasing worldwide, and its misdiagnosis may have significant public health implications. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of diabetes and its risk factors among the middle-aged population in Shahroud, north of Iran. In the present study, the plasma glucose levels in 5190 subjects aged 40–64 years, participating in the first phase of the Shahroud Eye Cohort Study in 2009, were measured. Non-fasting glucose level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dl and/or the use of blood glucose-lowering drugs were considered as criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes. To determine the risk factors associated with diabetes, simple and multivariate logistic regressions were used. The prevalence of diabetes in men, women, and the total population were 10.4, 13.6, and 12.3 %, respectively. The mean blood glucose levels in men and women were 116.7 and 117.3 mg/dl, respectively. Age (odds ratio (OR) = 1.04), hypertension (OR = 2.5), being overweight (OR = 1.5), and obesity (OR = 1.5) were positively associated with diabetes. In addition, having an insurance (OR = 0.48) and male gender (OR = 0.81) was associated with a reduced risk of diabetes. Based on the results of the present study, the prevalence of diabetes in the studied population is high, and according to the epidemiological transition of diseases, a high percentage of the Iranian population are at risk for cardiovascular diseases. Considering the risk factors identified in the present study, developing effective interventions is essential.


Diabetes mellitus Population-based study Prevalence Risk factor 



This project was supported by the Noor Ophthalmology Research Center and Shahroud University of Medical Sciences.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.


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Copyright information

© Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Ebrahimi
    • 1
  • Mohammad Hassan Emamian
    • 2
  • Mohammad Shariati
    • 3
  • Hassan Hashemi
    • 4
  • Akbar Fotouhi
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Nursing and MidwiferyShahroud University of Medical SciencesShahroudIran
  2. 2.Center for Health Related Social and Behavioral Sciences ResearchShahroud University of Medical SciencesShahroudIran
  3. 3.Department of Community Medicine, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Noor Ophthalmology Research CenterNoor Eye HospitalTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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