Document Type



Diabetes/Endocrinology and Metabolism


Objectives: We conducted a Pakistan-wide community-based survey on the prevalence of type 2 diabetes using glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) as the screening test. The aim was to estimate diabetes prevalence across different demographic groups as well as all regions of Pakistan.

Design, settings and participants: Multistaged stratified cluster sampling was used for the representative selection of people aged ≥20 years, residing in 378 sampled clusters of 16 randomly selected districts, in this cross-sectional study. Eligible participants had blood drawn for HbA1c analyses at field clinics near to their homes. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was conducted on a subsample of the participants. Overall and stratified prevalence of type 2 diabetes and its association with risk factors were estimated using logistic regression models.

Main outcome measures: Prevalence of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Results: Of 18 856 eligible participants the prevalence of prediabetes was 10.91% (95% CI 10.46 to 11.36, n=2057) and type 2 diabetes was 16.98% (95% CI 16.44 to 17.51, n=3201). Overall, the mean HbA1c level was 5.62% (SD 1.96), and among newly diagnosed was 8.56% (SD 2.08). The prevalence was highest in age 51–60 years (26.03%, p<0.001), no formal education (17.66%, p<0.001), class III obese (35.09%, p<0.001), family history (31.29%, p<0.001) and female (17.80%, p=0.009). On multivariate analysis, there was a significant association between type 2 diabetes and older age, increase in body mass index and central obesity, positive family history, and having hypertension and an inverse relation with education as a categorical variable. On a subsample (n=1027), summary statistics for diagnosis of diabetes on HbA1c showed a sensitivity of 84.7%, specificity of 87.2% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 0.86, compared with OGTT.

Conclusions: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes is much higher than previously thought in Pakistan. Comprehensive strategies need to be developed to incorporate screening, prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes at a community level.


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