Type 2 diabetes in adult Nigerians: a study of its prevalence and risk factors in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2003 Dec;62(3):177-85. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2003.07.002.


Objectives: This study aimed to assess the prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes and to determine potential associated risk factors of the disease in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Research design and methods: Five hundred and two (502) subjects aged above 40 years, obtained by a two-stage cluster sampling technique participated in this survey. Casual (random) plasma glucose estimations were done for all subjects after relevant personal data were obtained. Subjects with casual plasma glucose (CPG) > or =7.0 mmol/l had oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) done. Fasting and 2 h post glucose load blood samples were analyzed for plasma glucose levels.

Results: Thirty-four (34) subjects had diabetes, giving a crude prevalence rate of 6.8% (CI=4.6-9.0%), and standardized rate of 7.9%. The crude prevalence rates were 7.7 and 5.7% for males and females, respectively. Of the 34 diabetic subjects seen, 14 (41.2%) of them were not previously known to have diabetes; 83.7% of these were asymptomatic. Body mass index (BMI) > or = 25 kg/m2 and WHR > or = 0.85, family history of diabetes, physical inactivity, heavy consumption of alcohol, older age as well as high social status and Hausa-Fulani or Ibibio origin were associated with significantly higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

Conclusion: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Port Harcourt is relatively high. Changing lifestyle associated with industrialization may explain this. A significant proportion of the diabetic subjects are asymptomatic and undiagnosed. The risk factors as shown in our study clearly emphasize the point that type 2 diabetes is to a large extent a preventable disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Ethnicity
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Patient Selection
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Software