Prevalence of Prediabetes and Diabetes Mellitus among Children and Young Adults in the Kassena Nankana District of Ghana

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Due to the increasing trend of prediabetes and diabetes, this study investigated the prevalence of these dysglycaemic conditions in children and young people of ages 5 to 20 years old. Furthermore, to assess the presence of some risk factors,the lipid profile of the participants was determined, likewise using a questionnaire to assess information on demographic and lifestyle factors. This study was cross-sectional, and was conducted over a period of five months from January to May of 2012. It was carried out at the Kassena Nankana District in the Upper East Region of Ghana, involving 305 healthy volunteers, randomly sampled from the Navrongo Demographic Surveillance System of the Navrongo Health Research Centre. The socio-demographic characteristics of the participants were investigated, using a structured questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements were also taken, and blood samples from subjects were analysed for fasting blood glucose and lipid profile.The sex distribution of the study participants was 48.2% males and 51.8% females with a mean age of 12.04±4.15 years (± standard deviation). About 49.2% of the respondents were from rural settlements and 50.8% of them were from the urban communities. The mean body mass index (BMI) of the respondents was 18.13±3.6 kg/m2, whilst 9.8% were overweight and obese, with a BMI ≥85th percentile specific for age and gender.The mean waist circumference value was 63.3±8.0 cm and 0.63% of the study population had central obesity. The mean fasting blood glucose level was 4.96±0.51 mmol/l, 3.3% and 11.5% of the participants had impaired fasting blood glucose using the WHO/IDF and ADA criteria respectively, while none of the participants had high (diabetic) fasting blood glucose. The mean levels of the lipid profile were as follows; total cholesterol, 3.76±1.14 mmol/l; triglyceride, 0.81±0.51 mmol/l; HDL cholesterol, 1.11±0.36 mmol/l and LDL cholesterol, 2.29±0.94 mmol/l. iv Hypertriglyceridaemia was present in 3.0% of the subjects,11.8%of the subjects had high total cholesterol levels, 44.3% of the respondents were with low HDL cholesterol levels whilst high LDL cholesterol was found in 12.8% of the respondents. Through the responses to the questionnaire, 40.3% of the participants and their guardians claimed to have some knowledge of diabetes mellitus. A positive family history of diabetes and hypertension was reported in 7.5% and 23.9% of the participants respectively. There is a positive association between prediabetes and obesity, family history of diabetes and hypertension, total cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol levels but not with hypertriglyceridaemia. From the prevalence of 3.3% and 11.5% prediabetes obtained in this work, this supports observations from other studies elsewhere that diabetes is a common problem in sub Saharan Africa.Therefore, there is the need for education of the general populace to adopt lifestyles which would not predispose them to hyperglycaemic tendencies, characteristic of prediabetes and diabetes.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a degree of Master of Philosophy in Biochemistry, 2014