To investigate the association between self-rated health and risk of type 2 diabetes and whether the strength of this association is consistent across five European centres.
Design: Population-based prospective case-cohort study.
Setting: Enrolment took place between 1992 and 2000 in five European centres (Bilthoven, Cambridge, Heidelberg, Potsdam and Umea).
Participants: Self-rated health was assessed by a baseline questionnaire in 3399 incident type 2 diabetic case participants and a centre-stratified subcohort of 4619 individuals from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-InterAct study which was drawn from a total cohort of 340 234 participants in the EPIC.
Primary outcome measure: Prentice-weighted Cox regression was used to estimate centre-specific HRs and 95% CIs for incident type 2 diabetes controlling for age, sex, centre, education, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, energy intake, physical activity and hypertension. The centre-specific HRs were pooled across centres by random effects meta-analysis.
Results: Low self-rated health was associated with a higher hazard of type 2 diabetes after adjusting for age and sex (pooled HR 1.67, 95% CI 1.48 to 1.88). After additional adjustment for health-related variables including BMI, the association was attenuated but remained statistically significant (pooled HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.53). I-2 index for heterogeneity across centres was 13.3% (p=0.33).
Conclusions: Low self-rated health was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. The association could be only partly explained by other health-related variables, of which obesity was the strongest. We found no indication of heterogeneity in the association between self-rated health and type 2 diabetes mellitus across the European centres.
2013. Vol. 3, no 3, e002436- p.