This paper aimed to assess the prevalence of known diabetes among Bahraini adults, and to determine associated social and lifestyle factors. A community-based survey was carried out on 514 adults aged 30–79 years. The overall prevalence of known diabetes was 9%. Using multivariate analysis, the risk of diabetes was found to be higher among older (50–79 years), female, illiterate, currently married, non-smoking people, those who did not walk regularly, overweight and obese people (BMI[ges ]25), those who had a history of hypertension and those who consumed fresh vegetables more than 3 times a week. However, only obesity was found to be significantly associated with diabetes (OR=1·83, CI 1·48–4·15).