Risk factor profile and the occurrence of microvascular complications in short term type 2 diabetes mellitus at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi

  • FM Mwendwa Upper Hill Medical Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
  • CF Otieno University of Nairobi, PO Box 19676 - 00202, Nairobi, Kenya
  • JK Kayima University of Nairobi, PO Box 19676 - 00202, Nairobi, Kenya
  • EO Amayo University of Nairobi, PO Box 19676 - 00202, Nairobi, Kenya
  • PO Otieno University of Nairobi, PO Box 19676 - 00202, Nairobi, Kenya


Background: Type 2 diabetes has a long pre-clinical period before diagnosis, during which there may be development of complications, both of microvascular and macrovascular types. Objective: To determine the risk factor profile of hyperglycaemia, hypertension and dyslipidaemia in patients with short-term (=/< 2 years) type 2 diabetes.

Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study over six months.

Setting: Outpatient diabetic clinic of Kenyatta National Hospital. Subjects: Ambulatory patients with type 2 diabetes.

Results: One hundred patients were included. The mean (SD) duration of diabetes was 10.3 (7.5) months. There were 66% of the study subjects with obesity, 50% with hypertension, 29% had ideal glucose control and less than 40% had high LDLcholesterol. Twenty eight (28%) who had polyneuropathy had significant differences in their older age, higher total and LDL-cholesterol compared with those who did not have polyneuropathy. Twenty five (25%) of the study patients had micro-albuminuria and only 1% had macro-albuminuria. There were no significant differences in the selected characteristics between study patients with and those without albuminuria. Only 7% of the study patients had retinopathy on direct ophthalmoscopy.

Conclusion: Microvascular complications occurred in patients with type 2 diabetes of short duration of not more than two years. The risk factors of hypertension, poor glycaemic control, dyslipidaemia and cigarette smoking were present in a fair proportion of the study patients. Patients with type 2 diabetes should be actively screened for complications and the risk factors thereof, even if the diabetes was of recent onset.

East African Medical Journal Vol. 82(12) 2005: S163-S172

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