International evidence suggests that prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is higher among people of South Asian origin, however, limited information exists about T2D in Canadians belonging to this ethnic group. This study estimates the prevalence of self-reported T2D and assesses its relationship with demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors in South Asians using data from the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.1. Canadians of South Asian origin were compared with following ethnic groups: Whites, Chinese and Aboriginals. Descriptive statistics and odds ratios were calculated. T2D prevalence varied by ethnicity with South Asians having one of the highest rates (8.0%). Independent of age, sex, household income, education, body mass index and physical activity, South Asians had higher odds (2.9) of T2D compared with Whites. T2D occurred at a younger age and at lower body mass in this ethnic group compared with Whites.
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