A suvey of common complications associated with diabetes mellitus in the diabetic clinic at the University teaching hospital,Lusaka,Zambia
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STUDY SETTING: The study was conducted at the University Teaching Hospital Lusaka Zambia in the diabetic clinic. OBJECTIVES: The study described common complications, their prevalence and factors associated with their development in diabetic mellitus patients. DESIGN AND METHODS: 80 patients with diabetes mellitus were prospectively as well as retrospectively evaluated for complications over a period of 9 months. The evaluation included clinical and laboratory methods. The clinical methods entailed a detailed history, review of files and anthropometric measurements of weight and heights from which the body weight was expressed as body mass index (BMI). Ocular examination included the fundoscopy. A full physical examination was performed for possible diabetic complications. Laboratory methods included urinalysis, blood glucose, blood creatinine and other tests depending on the indication. RESULTS: This study has demonstrated that obesity is a major risk factor for the development of DM and that most of the patients attending the clinic are on diet and oral hypoglycaemic drugs. In this study only 31.3% had a family history of DM. Despite the regular attendance of the clinic by the majority of patients, complications were high and included, hypoglycaemia (19.2%), DKA (9.2%), hypertension (74.4%)), peripheral neuropathy (40%0), erectile dysfunction (58%), cataracts (38.8%), diabetic retinopathy (20%>), diabetic foot complications (13.8%)), strokes and clinical nephropathy (3.8%)) each and 2.5% had coronary artery disease. 15% of the patient had tuberculosis. CONCLUSION: This survey revealed that the majority of the patients are middle aged obese non-insulin dependent diabetics (NIDDs) with a female preponderance. Attendance and compliance is generally good in this study population but monitoring and control of diabetes is poor. Complications are a common problem in this study population. TB is also a big problem among diabetic patients. Hyperiidemia and cardiovascular complications are still a small problem.