Table 3: Factors that Might Cause Diabetes Mellitus

Main Analytical Category a Subcategory with Quotations Statements by Males (n) Statements by Females (n)
Factors related to the individual Heredity:
‘ father suffers from DM’
‘ I think heredity...a number of people from my mother’s side have DM’
1 9 b 5 7 b
Wrong dietary habits:
‘...excessive alcohol consumption (kachasu) ... too much sugar in my tea’
‘..type of food .... taking sadza, sadza all the time ... too much starch’
2 6 b 1 5 b
‘... maybe old age ... no longer active’
1 9 b 6 b
Obesityb 9 b 8 b
Stress b 5 b 8 b
Infection 6 b 5 b
‘... maybe antihypertensive drugs’
‘... hydrochlorothiazide that I was taking for my blood pressure’
2 4 b 1 7 b
Pregnancyb 2 b 6 b
Diseases of the pancreas:
‘...problems with my pancreas’
1 6 b 1 8 b
Factors related to the social sphere Disturbances in social relations b 2 b 1 b
The influence of evil peopleb 1 b 1 b
Factors related to the nature Imbalance between warmth and coldb 1 b 1 b
Factors related to the supernatural sphere Supernatural or religious causes such as evil spiritsb 3 b
Supernatural or religious causes such as punishment from God or the godsb 1 b 3 b
Supernatural or religious causes such as the influence of witches:
‘... rather difficult ... thought I had been bewitched’
‘...witches can do anything’
1 2 b 2 2 b
Fateb 3 b 4 b

a Analytical categories, emerging from open ended interview questions, according to the lay model of illness causation by Helman (2007).
b Explanations of causes of diabetes mellitus evolved in discussions of a list of potential causes of diabetes mellitus.