The prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in the Kuwaiti adult population in 2014

Abdullah Alkandari, Joseph C. Longenecker, Noël C. Barengo, Ahmad Alkhatib, Elisabete Weiderpass, Rihab Al-Wotayan, Qais Al Duwairi, Jaakko Tuomilehto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Kuwait ranks among the top 20 countries worldwide in diabetes prevalence. This study's objectives were to assess the prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in Kuwaiti adults. Methods: Kuwaiti citizens aged 18–69 years (n = 3915) were studied using the WHO's STEPwise survey methodology, including its Instrument for Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance. Participants’ demographics, medical history, physical measurements and blood biochemistry were assessed. A subset of 2561 individuals completed all three survey steps, including fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and HbA1c assays. The study assessed the prevalence of pre-diabetes (FPG 6.1–6.9 mmol/L or HbA1c level 5.7–6.4%) and diabetes (self-reported history of diabetes with prescription of diabetes medications or FPG ≥ 7 mmol/L or HbA1c level ≥6.5%). Results: The prevalence of pre-diabetes was 19.4% [95% CI: 17.9–21.0%] (By sex: Men, 19.3%; Women, 19.5%; p = 0.92; By age (years): 18–29 y, 13.9%; 30–44 y, 22.6%; 45–59 y, 25.8%; 60–69 y, 16.4%; p < 0.001). The prevalence of diabetes was 18.8% [17.3–20.4%] (By sex: Men, 20.4%; Women, 17.4%; p = 0.055; By age: 18–29 y, 6.6%; 30–44 y, 14.0%; 45–59 y, 36.7%; 60–69 y, 62.8%; p < 0.001), of whom 41.5% were previously undiagnosed. Diabetes prevalence was 27.4% among those with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2, 29% among those with elevated waist-hip ratio and 36% among those with hypertension. Diabetes was positively associated with BMI, waist-hip ratio and blood pressure level. Pre-diabetes was positively associated with BMI and waist-hip ratio, but not blood pressure level. Conclusions: Almost 40% of Kuwaiti citizens had pre-diabetes or diabetes. Urgent public health action is needed to decrease diabetes prevalence and thus avoid associated morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Arab
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Prevalence
  • Public health epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'The prevalence of pre-diabetes and diabetes in the Kuwaiti adult population in 2014'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this