In South Africa, 1,826,100 cases of diabetes were reported in 2017, corresponding to a prevalence of 5.4%. Overall, numbers are reported to be increasing over time. Diabetes also ranked high among the top 10 leading natural causes of death, accounting for 5.4% of deaths (year 2015). Approximately 14% of ischemic heart disease, 10% of stroke, 12% of hypertensive disease and 12% of renal disease mortality in those 30 years or older were attributable to diabetes. 2
Figure 1 lists the top 10 causes of death in 2016 (from specific disease conditions, road injuries and interpersonal violence). Temporal trends for the period 2005-2016, were reported. 3 The top 10 causes of death were HIV/AIDS, ischemic heart disease, lower respiratory infection, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, tuberculosis, road injuries, interpersonal violence, COPD and diarrheal diseases. Despite a significant 51.6% decrease in HIV fatality rates during the period, 2005-2016, the condition remains the number one killer in South Africa.
Figure 1: Top 10 causes of death in SA; % change 2005-2016, all ages, number. Source: http://www.healthdata.org/south-africa
While most conditions causing death reported falling numbers during 2005-2016, an increasing trend was noted for diabetes with a 10% increased mortality rate posing a serious concern for the country. Within this study period, diabetes also caused high disability rates, with a 34.1% increase in years lived with disability (YLDs) for 2005-2016.
Type 2 diabetes throughout Sub-Saharan Africa
Type 2 diabetes, a disorder of a person’s metabolism, is primarily characterized by high blood glucose which is caused by insulin resistance or lack of insulin. For the year 2013, the overall prevalence rate for type 2 diabetes in Africa was reported at 4.9%. The corresponding rates for individual countries are shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Type 2 diabetes prevalence rates reported for year 2013 in separate Sub-Saharan African countries (age range 20-79 years). Source: The Incidence and Prevalence Database, Clarivate Analytics.
The highest type 2 diabetes prevalence rates were reported in South Africa (9.30%) and Tanzania (9.00%), with Nigeria, DRC, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya showing values that range from 3.10%-4.30%.
This article was excerpted from the author’s full “The contribution of type 2 diabetes to the disease burden in South Africa” report. The paper analyzes the incidence and prevalence of type2 diabetes, the disease burden in South Africa, trends in risk factors causing death and disability, health care spend and the type 2 diabetes clinical trials scenario in the region, via Cortellis Clinical Trials Intelligence from Clarivate Analytics. The full paper is available here.
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