Background: The global prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus(T2DM) is high and increasing rapidly in countries undergoing a nutrition transition like Thailand. This study aimed to assess the relationship between T2DM and factors associated with the nutrition transition among Thai adults.
Methods: Data were from Thai Cohort Study participants surveyed in 2005,2009 and 2013 (n=39,519). Cumulative incidence of diabetes was calculated and multivariable analyses were conducted using logistic regression.
Results: T2DM incidence (per1000) was higher in males (24.9 versus 11.9). The factors most strongly associated with T2DM in both sexes were increasing age and BMI but, amongst males, smoking (Odds Ratio (OR)=1.70,95% CI 1.29-2.24) and alcohol intake (OR=1.67,95% CI 1.00-2.82) were also associated with increased risk. Infrequent gardening, low vegetable intake, and urban childhood residence were also related to T2DM risk however these associations attenuated after adjusting for BMI. Among females, high income was associated with T2DM (OR=1.72,95% CI1.03-2.89). Urban childhood residence and education were also associated with T2DM however these associations were attenuated after adjusting for BMI.
Conclusion: The factors associated with T2DM risk in our study are consistent with findings from previous studies conducted in countries undergoing a nutrition transition. With the prevalence of these factors projected to increase it is likely that the incidence of T2DM will keep rising. This may be of particular concern for Thai men who appear to be in the earlier stages of the nutrition transition. Our study suggests that females are at a more advanced stage of the nutrition transition.