Tanzania Journal of Health Research

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Prevalence of diabetes mellitus in patients seeking medical care at Morogoro Regional Referral Hospital in Tanzania

Edson Kinimi, Sakurani Balthazary, Stephen Kitua, Sundi Msalika


Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a key metabolic endocrine disorder escalating in the course of rapid population growth, aging, urbanization, and increasing prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity. This study was conducted to assess prevalence of DM and associated risk factors among outpatients seeking medical care at Morogoro Regional Referral Hospital in Tanzania.

Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out amongst 129 outpatients. Diabetic status was assigned using Gluco-plus Random Blood Glucose (RBG) ≥ 11.1mmol/L and a subject was confirmed to have diabetes when fasting plasma glucose was ≥7mmol/L. Structured questionnaire was administered to collect socio-demographic characteristics. Body Mass Index (BMI) was computed, with normal values ranging from 18.5-24.9 kg/m2, ˂18.5kg/m2 suggests underweight and/or malnutrition, from 25.0-29.9 is overweight; 30-39.9 is obese, while ≥40.0 is severe obesity. Data were analysed and Chi-square test was applied to test association between DM and overweight, age, smoking and alcohol intake.

Results: Our findings indicated that an overall prevalence of diabetes was 10.08% for undiagnosed town dwellers outpatients. Out of 13 diabetic individuals, 4 (31%) were males and 9 (69 %) were females. In this study population, 26 (20.16%) were overweight and One of diabetic subjects had severe obesity, two were obese, seven were overweight and three had normal weight. The age, alcohol intake and overweight were found to be the risk factors significantly associated with DM.

Conclusions: Our results indicate a higher prevalence of DM than the national estimate of 9.1 %. Thus DM still indicates a considerable health burden in Morogoro Municipality. Overweight, aging, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity were the main predisposing factors for DM morbidity. A regular screening and intervention programme for preventing DM in Morogoro Municipality is necessary.

AJOL African Journals Online