22 July 2020
Background: Diabetes mellitus is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, imposing a considerable burden on health systems and societies as it affects both individuals and their families and has a large impact on the economic and social development of a country. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to study the prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes among the Dubai population and associations with diabetes risk factors. Methodology: A cross-sectional Diabetes Household Survey was carried out in the Emirates of Dubai during 2017 as a complementary stage of the Dubai Household Survey, 2014, which was a randomly selected, multistage, stratified, cluster survey. The sampling technique was selected to assess the rates of undiagnosed diabetes as well as the rates of pre-diabetes through screening with HbA1c. The size of the 2017 survey sample was estimated at 300 individuals for Emirati and 300 for non-Emirati. An additional 200 individuals were added to address non-response cases. These were added to those who were identified as diabetics in the 2014 Household Health Survey and then weighted to give a representative sample for the Dubai population. Results: The study revealed that the prevalence of diabetes in Dubai among UAE nationals was 19%, and it was 14.7% for expats. Consequently, the overall prevalence of diabetes in Dubai is 15.2%. Undiagnosed diabetes was 10% in UAE nationals and 10.9% in expats. Pre-diabetes in UAE national males was lower than in females, although this pattern was not observed among expats. Younger age, normal weight, and exercise were associated with lower rates of diabetes and pre-diabetes in UAE nationals and expats. Hypertension was associated with higher rates of diabetes regardless of nationality. Conclusions: The study concluded that the prevalence of diabetes among the Dubai population is alarmingly high and that a large proportion of the population are not aware of their diagnosis. A higher prevalence of diabetes is associated with multiple factors, such as age, male gender, hypertension, higher BMI, lack of exercise, and lower level or no education, as well as a family history of diabetes mellitus. Many of these factors can be easily modified, which could lead to a decrease in the burden of the disease.