Prevalence and Determinants of Diabetes Mellitus and Impaired Fasting Glucose among Workers at the Spare Parts Share Company, Akaki, Ethiopia

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Addis Abeba Universty


The study investigates the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired fasting glucose among workers at the Spare Parts Share Company in Akaki, a suburb of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The choice of the Akaki factory, with its 600-strong workers, was made in furtherance of the long-term interest of the Department of Community Health of Addis Ababa University, to undertake a longitudinal research on Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among three of the largest factories in the country, including Akaki. It is intended that the outcome of this study and others that may follow, would contribute to the much needed data source on NCDs in the country. The method applied for the research was a cross-sectional, descriptive approach, using the convenience sampling technique. This technique was used to enable the researcher achieve a reasonable sample size, given the total population of the factory. Moreover, the study applied a three-step approach, consistent with the WHO procedure, namely, the use of structured questionnaire to assess risk factor prevalence, anthropometric measurements and lastly, biochemical testing for blood glucose levels. Out of the 533 eligible subjects in the factory, 475 were studied, with a non-response rate of 11%. Overall, the prevalence of impaired glucose homeostasis in the population was 6.9 ±0.3%. Diabetes was present in 3.4 ±0.2%, while impaired fasting glucose was found in 3.6 ±0.4% of the studied population. The overall prevalence of hypertension in the studied population was 22.1 ±0.4% while 25.9% are overweight: these figures were higher than those reported from previous studies in the country. Moreover, among the 14 diabetics, 38% had hypertension, and 47% of those with impaired fasting glucose also had hypertension (p<0.05). 56% of subjects with diabetes were found to be overweight, while only 19% of them had obesity (p <0.05). The overall results of the study are significant. They indicate, among other things, that the prevalence of diabetes in this mostly young adult, urban population is high, as is hypertension. Advancing age and a positive parental history of diabetes proved to be two of the most important determinants of diabetes prevalence in this population. Unlike in most other studies, obesity was found not to be an independent risk factor for impaired glucose homeostasis among the Akaki workers. Finally, the study recommends that Non-communicable diseases awareness programmes should be established in the country, together with periodic screening of high-risk urban and suburban populations (if resources are available) so as to detect early cases before the onset of complications. Longitudinal studies should also be set up to monitor trends in risk factor prevalence as well as evaluate intervention programmes.



Prevalence and Determinants of Diabetes Mellitus