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Diabetic complications and glycaemic control in remote North Africa

Gill, Geoff, Gebrekidan, A., English, P., Wile, D. and Tesfaye, S. (2008) 'Diabetic complications and glycaemic control in remote North Africa'. Qjm-an International Journal of Medicine, Vol 101, Issue 10, pp. 793-798.

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Abstract

Background: Delivery of diabetes services in resource-poor areas of Africa is difficult. Control is often poor and complications are common. However, adequate robust surveys are uncommon, particularly in remote rural areas. This makes needs assessment difficult and health-care planning impossible.
Aim: To accurately assess the glycaemic control and burden of complications in a group of diabetic patients from a remote area of a resource-limited north African country.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Methods: Over a 6-week period, all patients attending the diabetic clinic at Mekelle Hospital in northern Ethiopia were intensively assessed, using imported western technology as necessary. Glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)), lipid profile, serum creatinine and urinary albumincreatinine ratio were measured. Complications were assessed as accurately as possible, including examination of fundi by an ophthalmic specialist, and biosthesiometry for neuropathy.
Results: There were 105 patients, mean ( SD) age 41 16 years and diabetes duration 7 6 years. There were 74 (70) males, and 69 (66) on insulin. Median body mass index was low at 20.6 kg/m(2), but mean HbA(1c) high at 11.3 2.8 (68 had an HbA(1c) over 10.0). Cataract (12), retinopathy (21), neuropathy (41) and microalbuminuria (51) were common; but nephropathy (2) was rare, as was large vessel disease (6 had peripheral vascular disease, and none had coronary artery disease or cerebrovascular disease). Risk factors such as hypertension (5) and smoking (2) were uncommon, and lipid profiles were generally good.
Discussion: We conclude that in this severely resource-limited area of North Africa, glycaemic control amongst diabetic patients is very poor. Neuropathy, retinopathy and microalbuminuria are common; but large vessel disease risk factors are beneficial, and macroangiopathy prevalence is low. Scattered populations, shortage of drugs and insulin and lack of diabetes team care are major factors behind these serious issues of diabetic control and complications.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: macrovascular disease ethiopia mellitus care
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WK Endocrine System > WK 810 Diabetes mellitus
WK Endocrine System > WK 835 Complications of diabetes
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Clinical Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcn096
Depositing User: Users 43 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2010 13:45
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:00
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/791

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