• diabetes;
  • Ho Chi Minh City;
  • impaired fasting glucose;
  • prevalence;
  • risk factors


Aims  To determine the prevalence of diabetes and associated risk factors in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Methods  A total of 2932 participants aged 15 and above in Ho Chi Minh City were screened for diabetes in a cross-sectional study. The study was conducted from March–May 2001. Demographic, occupation, anthropometry and blood pressure were recorded. Blood glucose was calculated on fasting capillary and venous blood. The classification of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) was carried out according to WHO and American Diabetes Association criteria.

Results  The crude prevalence of diabetes and IFG were 6.6 and 3.2%, respectively. After age, sex-adjustment to the Vietnam population census, the prevalence was 3.8 and 2.5%, respectively; approximately 40% of cases were found to be newly diagnosed diabetes. The crude prevalence of diabetes in the urban area was approximately 2.8 times higher than that recorded in the 1993 study (6.9 vs. 2.5%, respectively). In this study, there was a positive association between diabetes and sex, age, overweight, waist hip ratio (WHR), and having a history of delivering large for gestational age child; there was a negative association between diabetes and physical activity and occupation.

Conclusions  This study found that the age, sex-adjusted prevalence of diabetes and IFG in Ho Chi Minh City were 3.8 and 2.5%, respectively, a rapid increase in the recent decade. Our study also indicates that ageing, a high WHR level, overweight and a sedentary lifestyle may be important determinants of the increased prevalence of diabetes during this transition period in Vietnam.