Prevalence and risk factors for diabetes chronic complications in Harare, Zimbabwe
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Background: Diabetes is a chronic condition which often causes severe long term complications which compromise quality of life and burdens health care systems and can cause permanent disability and even death. The incidence of diabetes and the associated complications in Harare as reported through surveillance data has been on the increase. In order to reduce disease burden due to diabetes chronic complications, prevalence and risk factors for diabetes chronic complications must be determined through studies. Methods: A total of 284 diabetics attending diabetic clinics at Parirenyatwa and Harare Central Hospitals were enrolled in this cross sectional analytic study. Interviewer administered questionnaires were used to collect data. The occurrence of diabetes chronic complications and their associated risk factors were analyzed. Written informed consent was sought and obtained from all the respondents. Results: Overall, prevalence of diabetes chronic complications was high with 45% of respondents having at least one diabetes chronic complication. Significant risk factors associated with diabetes chronic complications were: age>50 years (OR=4.34, p<0.001); duration with diabetes>10 years (OR=2.36, p<0.001); type 2 diabetes (OR=1.96, p=0.006); poor control of blood sugar (OR=2.30, p<0.001); poor compliance to medication (OR=1.72, p=0.024); being obese or overweight (OR=1.90, p=0.008); low physical activity (OR=2.27, p=0.001); high LDL-Cholesterol (OR=2.34, p=0.001) and hypertension (OR=1.88 p=0.009). After logistic regression, independent risk factors were as follows: low physical activity (adjusted OR=1.90, p =0.029); duration >10 years with diabetes (adjusted OR=5.34, p<0.001); high LDL-Cholesterol (adjusted OR=1.84, p=0.039) and type 2 diabetes (adjusted OR=6.48, p<0.001). Conclusion: Overall prevalence of diabetes chronic complications was high but comparable to other studies. Several demographic, patho-physiologic and life-style related risk factors associated with diabetes chronic complications were identified. There is need to comprehensively address all risk factors in order to reduce diabetes chronic complications.