Brief Report| Volume 106, ISSUE 3, e90-e92, December 2014

Gender differences and time trends in incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Sweden—A model explaining the diabetes epidemic worldwide today?

  • Per E. Wändell
    Corresponding author at: Centre for Family Medicine, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Alfred Nobels allé 12, S-141 83 Huddinge, Sweden. Tel.: +46 8 52488727; fax: +46 8 52488706.
    Centre for Family and Community Medicine, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden
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  • Axel C. Carlsson
    Centre for Family and Community Medicine, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden

    Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Epidemiology and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
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Published:October 01, 2014DOI:


      • Male predominance in diabetes has increased in Sweden, from a slight preponderance in the middle ages in the 1940s increasing in amplitude over time and expanding to almost most ages nowadays.
      • Men were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 3–4 years earlier than women, and at a lower BMI.
      • The increase in the male–female ratio seems to be driven by the urbanisation in combination with a male sensitivity to abdominal obesity.


      Gender differences in type 2 diabetes in Sweden were studied based on a literature search. The male predominance in 1940s (male/female ratio 1.2–1.4 in the ages 10–55 years) increased over time especially in the age 45–64 years with a male/female ratio up to 2.


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