Prevalence and determinants of undiagnosed diabetes in an urban sub-Saharan African population

Prim Care Diabetes. 2012 Oct;6(3):229-34. doi: 10.1016/j.pcd.2012.05.002. Epub 2012 Jun 7.


Aims: To report the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes and its determinants among adults Cameroonian urban dwellers.

Methods: On May 17th 2011, a community-based combined screening for diabetes and hypertension was conducted simultaneously in four major Cameroonian cities. Adult participants were invited through mass media. Fasting blood glucose was measured in capillary blood.

Results: Of the 2120 respondents, 1591 (52% being men) received a fasting glucose test. The median age was 43.7 years, and 64.2% were overweight or obese. The sex-specific age adjusted prevalence (for men and women) were 10.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 8.1-12.1%) and 11.2% (95%CI: 9.1-13.3%) for any diabetes, and 4.6% (95%CI: 2.6-6.6%) and 5.1% (95%CI: 3.0-7.2%) for screened-detected diabetes, respectively. The prevalence of diabetes increased with increasing age in men and women (all p ≤ 0.001 for linear trend). Older age (p<0.001), region of residence (p<0.001), excessive alcohol intake (p=0.02) were significantly associated with screened-detected diabetes, while physical inactivity, body mass index, and high waist girth were not significantly associated with the same outcome.

Conclusions: Prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes is very high among Cameroonian urban dwellers, indicating a potentially huge impact of screening for diabetes, thus the need for more proactive policies of early detection of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cameroon / epidemiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developing Countries
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose