Aims: To compare microvascular and macrovascular complication rates among Ghanaians with type 2 diabetes (T2D) living in Ghana and in three European cities (Amsterdam, London and Berlin).
Methods: Data from the multicenter Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM) study were analyzed. 650 Ghanaian participants with T2D (206 non-migrant and 444 migrants) were included. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between migrant status and microvascular (nephropathy and retinopathy) and macrovascular (coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral artery disease (PAD) and stroke) complications with adjustment for age, gender, socioeconomic status, alcohol, smoking, physical activity, hypertension, BMI, total-cholesterol, and HbA1c.
Results: Microvascular and macrovascular complications rates were higher in non-migrant Ghanaians than in migrant Ghanaians (nephropathy 32.0% vs. 19.8%; PAD 11.2% vs. 3.4%; CAD 18.4% vs. 8.3%; and stroke 14.5% vs. 5.6%), except for self-reported retinopathy (11.0% vs. 21.6%). Except nephropathy and stroke, the differences persisted after adjustment for the above-mentioned covariates: PAD (OR 7.48; 95% CI, 2.16-25.90); CAD (2.32; 1.09-4.93); and retinopathy (0.23; 0.07-0.75).
Conclusions: Except retinopathy, the rates of microvascular and macrovascular complications were higher in non-migrant than in migrant Ghanaians with T2D. Conventional cardiovascular risk factors did not explain the differences except for nephropathy and stroke.
Keywords: Diabetes complications; Ethnic minority groups; Ghana; Macrovascular; Microvascular; RODAM study.
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