Type 2 diabetes mellitus is no longer a disease of high income countries but a global health pandemic. With the continued and rapid increase in its prevalence worldwide it is forecasted that diabetes will be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. A major concern stems from its role in development and progression of cardiovascular disease, including cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. Within low- and middle-income areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa the burden of diabetes is already significant driven by many factors, including, socioeconomic (urbanisation), nutritional (high-calorie "western-diet", obesity) and lifestyle (physical inactivity) changes. Insufficient economic and community resources, poor health care system development and chronic disease management, poor education, and a lack of preventative and diagnostic measures further aggravate the severity of the diabetes problem. This review outlines the burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Sub-Saharan Africa and highlights the need for improved community health care and regulations to reduce its epidemiological spread and devastating impact on health.
- Journal Article