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Diabetes Care Lacking in Low-, Middle-Income Countries

Of adults with diabetes in a pooled sample from 55 LMICs, 4.6 percent self-report meeting need for all treatments recommended

TUESDAY, June 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Few adults with diabetes in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) receive coverage of guideline-based comprehensive diabetes treatment, according to a study published online May 21 in The Lancet Healthy Longevity.

David Flood, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of pooled, individual data from 55 nationally representative surveys to estimate the proportion of adults with diabetes in LMICs who receive coverage of recommended pharmacological and nonpharmacological diabetes treatment. The final pooled sample included 680,102 total individuals and 37,094 individuals with diabetes.

The researchers found that the prevalence of diabetes was 9 percent, with 43.9 percent reporting a previous diagnosis of diabetes. Of the individuals with diabetes, 4.6 percent reported meeting the need for all treatments recommended to them. Coverage of glucose-lowering medication, antihypertensive medication, cholesterol-lowering medication, diet counseling, exercise counseling, and weight-loss counseling was 50.5, 41.3, 6.3, 32.2, 28.2, and 31.5 percent, respectively. Greater coverage tended to be seen in countries at higher income levels. Associations with greater coverage were also seen for female sex and higher age, body mass index, educational attainment, and household wealth.

“Our findings suggest that delivering treatment not only to lower glucose but also to manage cardiovascular disease risk factors such as hypertension and elevated cholesterol among people with diabetes are urgent global priorities,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Novo Nordisk.

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