Type 2 Diabetes Endangers 1-in-5 Nigerians - Study
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – a chronic condition that affects metabolism of glucose in the body – now affects over 4.7 million Nigerians aged 20-79 years, a study has suggested.
The study was led by researchers at Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria. They warned that the disease will threaten even more people without an effective public health response, higher public awareness and lifestyle changes (including healthy diets and physical activity).
They found that 40% of people with Type 2 diabetes are undiagnosed, and that deaths occur for 1-in-5 diabetes patients admitted to hospital with complications from the disease. These complications can affect the heart, kidney, brain, eyes, blood vessels and nerves.
Over the last 30 years, Type 2 diabetes has increased by 440% to 4.7 million cases or 5.7% of all Nigerians. This rate is up to 3 times higher than the neighbouring countries of Cote d’Ivoire (2.3%), Ghana (1.9%), and Senegal (1.8%).
The researchers highlighted how the understanding of Type 2 diabetes in Nigeria and many African countries was hindered by shortfalls in routine health data, and how this hampered an effective response in various settings. They called for more research, especially in Northern Nigeria where data was particularly scarce.
According to the lead researcher, Dr. Davies Adeloye: “The last nationwide survey of non-communicable diseases in Nigeria was conducted in 1997. Most findings reported on Type 2 diabetes mellitus in Nigeria since then have been based on modelled estimates from neighbouring countries with relatively more detailed data on the disease.”
We have therefore systematically synthesized the best evidence on Type 2 diabetes mellitus across all geo-political zones in Nigeria to guide relevant evidence-based public health and policy response in the health sector, he added.
The researchers’ findings have been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open. A full copy of the research paper can be accessed here