Over four million Nigerians are living with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, a chronic condition that affects metabolism of glucose in the body, a study has said.
The study, led by researchers at the Covenant University, Ota, noted that 4.7 million Nigerians between the ages of 20-79 years were living with the condition. The study was published by the British Medical Journal.
According to the lead researcher, Dr. Davies Adeloye, more Nigerians will be affected by the condition unless stakeholders put in place effective public health response and strategies for higher public awareness. He also advocated for lifestyle changes which include healthy diets and physical activity.
The study noted that 40 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes were undiagnosed, and that deaths occurred for one-in- five diabetes patients admitted to hospital, with complications from the disease. These complications can affect the heart, kidney, brain, eyes, blood vessels and nerves.
“Over the last 30 years, type 2 diabetes has increased by 440 per cent to 4.7 million cases – or 5.7 per cent of all Nigerians. This rate is up to three times higher than the neighbouring countries of Cote d’Ivoire (2.3 per cent), Ghana (1.9 per cent), and Senegal (1.8 per cent).
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“The last nationwide survey of non-communicable diseases in Nigeria was conducted in 1997. Most findings reported on type 2 diabetes mellitus in Nigeria since then have been based on modelled estimates from neighbouring countries with relatively more detailed data on the disease. We have therefore systematically synthesised the best evidence on type 2 diabetes mellitus across all geo-political zones in Nigeria to guide relevant evidence-based public health and policy response in the health sector.”
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