AbstractThe high prevalence of diabetes in Iran and other developing countries is chiefly attributed to urbanization. The objectives of the present study were to assess the prevalence of self-reported diabetes and to determine its associated risk factors. This study is a part of the national noncommunicable disease risk factor surveillance, conducted in 31 provinces of Iran in 2011. First, 10069 individuals, between 20 and 70 years old (3036 individuals from rural and 7033 from urban areas), were recruited. The major risk factors were studied using a modified WHO STEPS approach. Diabetes was considered based on self-reported diabetes. The prevalence of self-reported diabetes was 10% overall. The prevalence in the rural and urban settings was 7.4% and 11.1%, respectively. Moderate physical activity (OR=0.45, 95% CI=0.29–0.71) and family history of diabetes) OR=6.53, 95% CI=4.29–9.93) were the most important risk factors among the rural residents and systolic blood pressure (OR=1.01, 95% CI=1–1.02), waist circumference (OR=1.02, 95% CI=1.01–1.03), and overweight (OR=1.36, 95% CI= 1–1.84) were significantly associated with self-reported diabetes in the urban residents. The prevalence of self-reported diabetes in the urban setting was higher than that in the rural setting. Physical inactivity, abdominal obesity, and high blood pressure were the most important risk factors associated with self-reported diabetes in Iran.