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BACKGROUND: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasingly prevalent in countries undergoing rapid development, including Thailand. We assessed T2DM incidence over an 8-year period in a nationwide cohort of Thai adults. METHODS: Thai Cohort Study participants were surveyed in 2005, 2009 and 2013. The analysed cohort members were aged (15-88), did not have diabetes in 2005 and were followed up by questionnaire in 2013 (n=39 507). T2DM was ascertained using self-report, which has been validated using physician interviews. We calculated the 8-year cumulative incidence of T2DM. Multivariable logistic regression assessed associations between potential risk factors and T2DM incidence. RESULTS: 8-year cumulative incidence of T2DM (2005 to 2013) was 177 per 10 000 (95% CI 164 to 190). Crude and age-standardised cumulative incidences of T2DM by sex were 249 per 10 000 (95% CI 226 to 272) and 222 per 10 000 (95% CI 219 to 225) for men; and 119 per 10 000 (95% CI 105 to 133) and 96 per 10 000 (95% CI 94 to 98) for women, respectively. T2DM increased significantly for both sexes with increasing age and body mass index (BMI) (p trend <0.001 for both). Residence in an urban area as a child associated with T2DM among men and women (OR=1.4, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.7 and OR=1.4, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.79); this was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for BMI. Among men, smoking (OR=1.7, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.2) and alcohol intake (OR=1.8, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.0) were associated with T2DM. CONCLUSIONS: This study found that the sociodemographic and lifestyle changes that have accompanied Thailand's economic development are associated with T2DM risk in a large cohort of Thai adults. Our findings highlight the need to address these transitions to prevent a further increase in the national incidence of T2DM, particularly among Thai men.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





EPIDEMIOLOGY, PUBLIC HEALTH, Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alcohol Drinking, Body Mass Index, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Economic Development, Female, Humans, Incidence, Life Style, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Lost to Follow-Up, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Risk Factors, Self Report, Sex Distribution, Smoking, Thailand, Young Adult