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Int Arch Med. 2011 Jan 12;4(1):2. doi: 10.1186/1755-7682-4-2.

Combined prevalence of impaired glucose level or diabetes and its correlates in Lusaka urban district, Zambia: a population based survey.

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Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.



Developing countries are undergoing an epidemiological transition, from Communicable or Infectious to 'Non-Communicable' diseases (NCDs), such that cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, and diabetes were responsible for 60% of all deaths globally in 2005, with more than 75% of these deaths occurring in developing countries. A survey was conducted to determine among other objectives the prevalence of diabetes and its association with physical fitness and biological factors.


A cross sectional study utilizing a modified World Health Organization's STEPwise approach to surveillance of NCDs was conducted in Lusaka district, Zambia. A multi-stage cluster sampling technique was used to select study participants of age 25 years or older. All eligible members of a household that was selected were invited to participate in the study. Unadjusted odds ratios (OR), and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) together with their 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) were obtained using Complex samples logistic regression


A total of 1928 individuals participated in the survey, of which 33.0% were males. About half of the participants were of age 25-34 years (53.2%), and about a third of the respondents had attained secondary level of education (35.8%). The combined prevalence for impaired glucose level or diabetes was 4.0%. Age and mild hypertension were significantly associated with impaired levels of glucose or diabetes. Compared to participants in the age group 25-34 years, older participants were more likely to have impaired glucose level or diabetes (AOR = 2.49 (95%CI [1.35, 2.92]) for 35-44 years age group, and AOR = 3.80 (95%CI [2.00, 7.23]) for 45 + years age group). Mild hypertension was associated with impaired glucose level or diabetes (AOR = 2.57) (95%CI [1.44, 4.57])).


The prevalence of diabetes in Lusaka district has not reached an alarming level and it is now that interventions targeting the younger age group 25-34 years should be put in place to curtail the spread of diabetes.

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