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Marked and widening socioeconomic inequalities in type 2 diabetes prevalence in Scotland
  1. Jack Wang1,2,
  2. Sarah H Wild3
  1. 1 The University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 The University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Jack Wang, The University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Edinburgh, UK; s1609454{at}


Background This study investigated the association between socioeconomic status and type 2 diabetes (T2D) prevalence in Scotland in 2021 and tested the null hypothesis that inequalities had not changed since they were last described for 2001–2007.

Methods Data from a national population-based diabetes database for 35-to-84-year-olds in Scotland for 2021 and mid-year population estimates for 2019 stratified by sex and fifths of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation were used to calculate age-specific prevalence of T2D. Age-standardised prevalence was estimated using the European Standard Population with relative risks (RRs) compared between the most (Q1) and least (Q5) deprived fifths for each sex, and compared against similar estimates from 2001 to 2007.

Results Complete data were available for 255 764 people (98.9%) with T2D. Age-standardised prevalence was lowest for women in Q5 (3.4%) and highest for men in Q1 (11.6%). RRs have increased from 2.00 (95% CI 1.52 to 2.62) in 2001–2007 to 2.48 (95% CI 2.43 to 2.53) in 2021 for women and from 1.58 (95% CI 1.20 to 2.07) in 2007 to 1.89 (95% CI 1.86 to 1.92) in 2021 for men.

Conclusions Socioeconomic inequalities in T2D prevalence have widened between 2001–2007 and 2021. Further research is required to investigate potential medium-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • inequalities
  • diabetes mellitus
  • epidemiology
  • health inequalities

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  • Contributors JW and SHW contributed equally to this paper on behalf of the Scottish Diabetes Research Network epidemiology group.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.