In Sub-Saharan Africa, prevalence and burden of type 2 diabetes are rising quickly. Rapid uncontrolled urbanisation and major changes in lifestyle could be driving this epidemic. The increase presents a substantial public health and socioeconomic burden in the face of scarce resources. Some types of diabetes arise at younger ages in African than in European populations. Ketosis-prone atypical diabetes is mostly recorded in people of African origin, but its epidemiology is not understood fully because data for pathogenesis and subtypes of diabetes in sub-Saharan African communities are scarce. The rate of undiagnosed diabetes is high in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and individuals who are unaware they have the disorder are at very high risk of chronic complications. Therefore, the rate of diabetes-related morbidity and mortality in this region could grow substantially. A multisectoral approach to diabetes control and care is vital for expansion of socioculturally appropriate diabetes programmes in sub-Saharan African countries.
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