oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Glycaemic control of diabetes mellitus in central Africa

Volume 34, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Glycaemic control was estimated in 600 African diabetic patients by measuring the fasting venous blood glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1) levels, using a micro-column chromatographic method. Three hundred and twenty patients (62%) were on insulin treatment. Control was generally poor, especially in type II diabetes, where only 14 per cent had a blood glucose less than 6,7 mmol/1. There was good correlation between the degree of hyperglycaemia and the HbA1 levels. HbA1 values were significantly lower (p < 0,05) in patients with the sickle cell trait. Glycaemic control was superior in obese compared to thin patients. Patients with peripheral neuropathy and men with severe smallvessel disease of the kidney had higher mean HbA1 levels (p < 0,05) than those without, but there was no relationship between the degree of glycaemic control and the presence of retinopathy or cataract. Control of symptoms and avoidance of hypoglycaemia remain the prime aims of treatment of diabetes mellitus in Central Africa today.

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