Prevalence of diabetes mellitus in patients seeking medical care at Morogoro Regional Referral Hospital in Tanzania



Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a key metabolic endocrine disorder escalating in the course of
rapid population growth, aging, urbanization, and increasing prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity.
This study was conducted to assess prevalence of DM and associated risk factors among outpatients
seeking medical care at Morogoro Regional Referral Hospital in Tanzania.
Method: A cross-sectional study was carried out amongst 129 outpatients. Diabetic status was assigned
using Gluco-plus Random Blood Glucose (RBG) ≥ 11.1mmol/L and a subject was confirmed to have diabetes
when fasting plasma glucose was ≥7mmol/L. Structured questionnaire was administered to collect sociodemographic
characteristics. Body Mass Index (BMI) was computed, with normal values ranging from
18.5-24.9 kg/m2
, ˂18.5kg/m2
suggests underweight and/or malnutrition, from 25.0-29.9 is overweight; 30-
39.9 is obese, while ≥40.0 is severe obesity. Data were analysed and Chi-square test was applied to test
association between DM and overweight, age, smoking and alcohol intake.
Results: Our findings indicated that an overall prevalence of diabetes was 10.08% for undiagnosed town
dwellers outpatients. Out of 13 diabetic individuals, 4 (31%) were males and 9 (69 %) were females. In this
study population, 26 (20.16%) were overweight and One of diabetic subjects had severe obesity, two were
obese, seven were overweight and three had normal weight. The age, alcohol intake and overweight
were found to be the risk factors significantly associated with DM.
Conclusions: Our results indicate a higher prevalence of DM than the national estimate of 9.1 %. Thus DM
still indicates a considerable health burden in Morogoro Municipality. Overweight, aging, alcohol
consumption and physical inactivity were the main predisposing factors for DM morbidity. A regular
screening and intervention programme for preventing DM in Morogoro Municipality is necessary.


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