The occurrence of diabetes type 2 among randomly selected Pakistani immigrants living in Oslo was studied based on personal interviews and a questionnaire. The interviews were carried out using Punjabi, Urdu English or Norwegian languages. Among the persons who were contacted, only three out of ten were willing to participate in this project. The final material represented 130 persons from 50 families counting 80 men and 50 women.
We found that 22 (14 men, 8 women) had diabetes. Three of these were diagnosed as a result of the present study. In spite of a relatively small cohort these results support the general notion that diabetes type 2 is more prevalent in Pakistani immigrants than among ethnic Norwegians (14). Intermarriage between first cousins were found among more than 50%. Many participants (43%) had preserved a traditional Pakistani kitchen which has a high content of fat and sugar. The group was generally engaged in little or only moderate physical activity.Albeit the study group is limited in number, the main conclusion seems to be clear and support general medical knowledge about the disease in relation to that genetics and unfavourable life style are important risk factors. In the whole group there was, in general, a lack of awareness and information of the disease and risk factors. Unless actions are taken to fight the development of diabetes 2 especially among ethnic immigrants who already can be described as a population at high risk, personal health and social economical problems will increase.
There are a number of projects which have been implemented by health authorities to prevent health problems among immigrants in Norway. With the experience from the present study, it seems to be relevant to ask if regular investigations based on questionnaires and as a rule carried out in Norwegian, reach the persons who are most at risk for the disease, and also how effective these endeavours have been so far. Based on my observations interviewing people in their own language, it became evident that the participants had too little knowledge about nutrition and diabetes 2 as well as about possible complications caused by the disease.