Predictors of Perceived Risk of the Development of Diabetes
Abstract Objective. To describe predictors of perceived risk for the development of diabetes. Research design and methods. In 2006, the National Diabetes Education Program conducted a telephone survey of the U.S. population ≥ 45 years of age. The sample size for this study was 1,389 people who reported no previous diagnosis of diabetes. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify independent variables associated with the perception of risk for diabetes among people without a diagnosis of diabetes. Results. More than half (55%) of the U.S. population aged ≥ 45 years had one or more risk factors for diabetes, yet only about one-fourth (23%) felt they were at risk for the disease. In the multivariate analyses, feeling at risk for diabetes is associated with a younger age (45-64 vs. ≥ 65 years; odds ratio[OR] 2.50; 95% CI 1.56-4.01); being of a race or ethnicity other than white, African American, or Hispanic/Latino compared to non-Hispanic whites (OR 2.26; 95% CI 1.19-4.31); being obese (OR 3.23; 95% CI 1.90-5.50); having a family history of diabetes (OR 5.53; 95% CI 3.55-8.60); and having had a diagnosis of pre-diabetes (OR 5.80; 95% CI 3.31-10.16). African Americans are significantly less likely to feel at risk for diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites (OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.29-0.96). Conclusions. Based on these findings, special attention needs to be placed on reaching older adults and African Americans who report significantly lower levels of self-perceived risk of diabetes. An emphasis on increased susceptibility due to a family history of diabetes, obesity, and a diagnosis of pre-diabetes appear to be meaningful cues to increasing perceived risk.