Risk Factors for Diabetes Mellitus among adult Residents of a Rural District in Southern Nigeria: Implications for Prevention and Control
Introduction: Diabetes Mellitus is a non-communicable disease that affects people worldwide and poses major public health and socioeconomic challenges. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional community based survey carried out in Abua, a rural district located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria among 462 adults recruited through multi-stage sampling. Data was collected using the structured WHO STEPS instrument for Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance. The questionnaire included questions that assessed socio-demographic characteristics, diabetic risk factors, anthropometric measures, and biochemical parameters. Fasting blood glucose and blood pressure was measured using the WHO recommendations. Results: Equal number of males and females aged between 18 and 82 years were recruited. Mean age of 40.4614.36 years and median age of 38.5 years. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus was 37 (8.0%), of which 28 (6.1%) were previously diagnosed while 9 (1.9%) were newly diagnosed. Alcohol intake (AOR = 10.69; 95% CI = 2.60-43.87; P = 0.001) physical activity (AOR = 4.78; 95% CI = 1.16-19.65; P = 0.03), diastolic blood pressure (AOR= 32.67; 95% CI = 3.68-289.65; P = 0.002), age and family history of DM showed significant independent association (OR 1.09, 95% CI: 0.000, P < 0.001, OR 0.072, 95% CI: 0.014–0.380, P = 0.007) with diabetes mellitus. Conclusion: Study findings underscore the need for diabetes prevention and control activities that address the four major risk factors identified by WHO. These interventions will positively impact prevalence of diabetes and other NCDs. Intervention strategies should not only target urban populations but also focus on education and health promotion among rural populations in a bid to forestall rising prevalence of diabetes.
Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, prevention and control, risk factors