Social inequality in type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Faroe Islands: a cross-sectional study: a cross-sectional study

Vár Honnudottir, Louise Hansen, Anna Sofía Veyhe, Ingelise Andersen, Pál Magni Weihe, Marin Strøm, Magni Mohr

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The Faroe Islands is considered a homogeneous society and has a low Gini coefficient, but the knowledge about the social distribution of health and disease is sparse. In a large population-based sample we investigated: (a) the association between socioeconomic position defined by level of education and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus by self-report in the Faroe Islands; and (b) to what degree lifestyle factors mediate the association. Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the population-based Public Health Survey Faroes 2015 ( n=1095). We present odds ratios for type 2 diabetes mellitus by socioeconomic position from logistic regression models. In our main model we adjusted for potential confounders and in a secondary model we additionally adjusted for potential mediating lifestyle factors. Results: Individuals with middle and low levels of education display higher odds ratios of type 2 diabetes mellitus of 2.80 (95% confidence interval 1.32–5.92) and 4.65 (95% confidence interval 1.93–11.17) in adjusted analysis, respectively, compared to their counterparts with high education. After adjustment for potentially mediating lifestyle factors the estimates were attenuated slightly, but a significant statistical association remained, with lifestyle-related mediating factors in total explaining 21% for middle education and 34% for low education participants. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that there may be a social gradient in the distribution of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Faroe Islands, and that the association is partly mediated by lifestyle factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdoi: 10.1177/14034948211013267
Early online date31 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021


  • Social inequality
  • cross-sectional study
  • health
  • socioeconomic position
  • type 2 diabetes


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