Pattern of complications and comorbidities among diabetic patients in a tertiary healthcare center in Nigeria
Background: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) among Nigerian adults is increasing. Besides the well-recognized microvascular complications of diabetes, there is also a growing epidemic of macrovascular complications. Patients with diabetes may not only have diabetes-related complications but may also have nondiabetes-related comorbidities. Aim: To determine the pattern of chronic diabetic complications and coexisting morbidities in patients attending the diabetic outpatient clinic of a tertiary health care center in Nigeria and the factors associated with the presence of complications. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive survey carried out among patients attending the follow-up diabetic clinic of a tertiary health care center in Nigeria over a 3-month period. A systematic random sampling method was used and 422 eligible patients were selected and interviewed using pretested interviewer-administered questionnaires, after written informed consent was obtained. Data were analyzed using Epi Info statistical package version 3.5.1. developed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta Georgia (USA). Results: Of the 422 patients interviewed, 400 (247 females and 153 males) had complete data for analysis. Eighty-eight patients had comorbidities, and the commonest was hypertension in 63 (71.6%). Out of the 61 patients who had complications, the majority, that is, 39 (63.9%) had eye complications. Factors significantly associated with the presence of diabetic complications were the duration of diabetes, marital status, and the presence of diabetic comorbidities. Conclusion: The frequency of diabetic complications and comorbidities is quite high in the patients studied. There is a need to improve the standard of care of patients and to ensure optimal blood glucose control. This will go a long way in reducing the frequency of complications and comorbidities.