Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Family Medicine


We aimed to explore the cross-country variation in the prevalence of comorbid prediabetes or diabetes and determine the sociodemographic, lifestyle, and clinical factors, especially body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, associated with comorbid diabetes in individuals with hypertension in rural South Asia. We analyzed cross-sectional data of 2426 hypertensive individuals of ≥40 years from 30 randomly selected rural communities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Prediabetes was defined as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) between 100 and 125 mg/dL without use of antidiabetic treatment and diabetes as FPG ≥126 mg/dL or use of antidiabetic medication. The prevalence (95% CI) of prediabetes or diabetes (53.5% (51.5%, 55.5%)) and diabetes (27.7% (25.9%, 29.5%)) was high in the overall hypertensive study population in rural communities in 3 countries. Rural communities in Sri Lanka had the highest crude prevalence of prediabetes or diabetes and diabetes (73.1% and 39.3%) with hypertension, followed by those in Bangladesh (47.4% and 23.1%) and Pakistan (39.2% and 20.5%). The factors independently associated with comorbid diabetes and hypertension were residing in rural communities in Sri Lanka, higher education, international wealth index, waist circumference, pulse pressure, triglyceride, and lower high-density lipoprotein. The association of diabetes with waist circumference was stronger than with BMI in hypertensive individuals. Prediabetes or diabetes are alarmingly common among adults with hypertension and vary among countries in rural South Asia. The high prevalence of comorbid diabetes in Sri Lanka among hypertensives is not fully explained by conventional risk factors and needs further etiological research. Urgent public health efforts are needed to integrate diabetes control within hypertension management programs in rural South Asia, including screening waist circumference.


Issue, and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher


Journal of Obesity

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.