Abstract

Background

To determine the proportion of participants identified with previously undiagnosed diabetes and untreated hypertension in the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa's screening programme.

Methods

This cross-sectional study was conducted nationally in 2013 among ≥18-year-old adults self-selected for screening. Data collection included medical history and behaviours related to diet, physical activity, smoking and alcohol use. Clinical measurements comprised blood pressure, anthropometry and point-of-care random blood glucose and cholesterol assessments.

Results

Among the 7711 participants, 2488 men and 5223 women, mean ages were 47.6 years and 48.6 years, respectively. Prevalence of diabetes was 13.8% in men and 12.8% in women but only 1.8% (45) and 0.9% (47), respectively, were newly diagnosed. Another 14.5% (men) and 12.4% (women) had impaired glycaemia. Only 32.9% and 36.3% with known diabetes were controlled. Hypertension was prevalent in 51.8% of men and 48.9% of women, 52.0% and 63.1% of whom were using anti-hypertensive medication; 43.2% of men and 45.5% of women on anti-hypertensive medication were controlled.

Conclusions

Very few individuals with newly diagnosed diabetes were identified, which underscores the need for cost-effective targeted screening of high-risk individuals to optimize diagnosis. Furthermore, the suboptimal levels of diabetes and hypertension control highlights the need for improved care.

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