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Pan Afr Med J. 2019 Sep 17;34:38. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2019.34.38.18936. eCollection 2019.

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among patients with type 2 diabetes seen at a referral hospital in Kenya.

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Kenya Methodist University, School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kenya.
The University of Nairobi, Department of Clinical Medicine and Therapeutics, Nairobi, Kenya.
Kenyatta National Hospital, Department of Medicine, Nairobi, Kenya.
Kenya Bureau of Standards, Department of Testing, Kenya.



The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is rising at an alarming rate, calling for more insights into its pathogenetic mechanisms, and other factors involved in its progression. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is higher in diabetic compared to non-diabetic patients, and is associated with poor glycaemic control. This has not been documented among diabetic patients in Kenya. Aims: to determine the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D among type 2 diabetic patients at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.


We recruited type 2 diabetic patients on follow-up at Kenyatta National Hospital. Measurements of height, weight and waist/hip ratios were taken. We drew 6mls of peripheral blood to determine vitamin D, zinc and HbA1c levels.


A total of 151 participants were recruited, with 69.5% females and mean age of 58.2 years. Hypertension was found in 72.8% of the participants, and obesity in 37.7%. The mean HbA1c levels were 8.46%, and 62.9% had poor glycaemic control. The mean vitamin D level was 31.40ng/ml. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency was found in 38.4% and 21.9% of the participants respectively. We found a significant inverse correlation between vitamin D and glycaemic control (r = -0.09, p = 0.044) and vitamin D and BMI (r = - 0.145, p = 0.045).


In this study population on long-term follow-up for diabetes, there was high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. This forms a basis for further management of patients with poor glycaemic control. Further studies are needed to document the causal association between poor glycaemic control and vitamin D deficiency.


Vitamin D; diabetes; glycemic control

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