Type 2 diabetes control and complications in specialised diabetes care centres of six sub-Saharan African countries: the Diabcare Africa study

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2012 Jan;95(1):30-6. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2011.10.018. Epub 2011 Nov 8.


Aim: The Diabcare Africa project was carried out across six sub-Saharan African countries to collect standardised and comparable information for the evaluation of diabetes control, management and late complications in diabetic populations at specialist clinics.

Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study of 2352 type-2 diabetes patients who were treated at specialist clinics for at least 12 months prior to the study.

Results: The mean age of patients was 53.0±16.0 years and had 8.0±6.0 years known duration of diabetes. 47% had their HbA1c assessed in the past year (mean 8.2±2.4%) with 29% achieving a level <6.5%. 21% had BP within 130/80 mmHg and 65% were treated for hypertension. Fasting lipids were assessed in 45% of the patients with mean cholesterol level of 4.9±1.2 mmol/L, HDL-cholesterol of 1.3±0.7 mmol/L and triglycerides of 1.2±0.7 mmol/L. 13% of the patients were treated for hyperlipidaemia, mostly with statins. Background retinopathy (18%) and cataract (14%) were the most common eye complications. Macrovascular disease was rare, and 48% had neuropathy.

Conclusions: Half of the patients benefitted from standard care, and a third had appropriate glycaemic control - attributed to access to, rather than quality of care. This study provided evidence to support appropriate interventions to diabetic populations of sub-Saharan origin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / therapy
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / therapy
  • Hypertension / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A