Original Articles

Self-reported Diabetes Prevalence and Risk factors in South Africa: Results from the World Health Survey

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 19, issue 3, 2009 , pages: 365–370
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2009.10820303
Author(s): Karl PeltzerHuman Sciences Research Council, South Africa


Using the data from the South African World Health Survey (WHS), the current study aims to assess the self-reported prevalence of diabetes and associated risk factors by socio-economic characteristics in South Africa. A population-based survey of 2314 participants (1116 men and 1236 women) was conducted in South Africa in 2003. Results indicate an overall self-reported diabetes prevalence of 9.1%, 7.1% for men and 10.8% for women. In terms of diabetes risk factors, high rates of overweight or obesity (58.4%), physical inactivity (55.2%), less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day (69.3%), and medium or high stress levels (63.3%) were found; 18.4% were smoking daily and 7.3% were risky drinkers. Univariate regression analyses found that from the six different risk factors none apart from having high stress were associated with the occurrence of diabetes. Greater age was associated with obesity and inversely associated with insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables. Daily smoking and being physically inactive were inversely associated with risky drinking. Low socioeconomic background was associated with unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and stress.

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