Adequacy of control of cardiovascular risk factors in ambulatory patients with type 2 diabetes attending diabetes out-patients clinic at a county hospital, Kenya.
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BACKGROUND: Type 2 diabetes is associated with substantial cardiovascular morbidity and mortality arising from the high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidaemia, obesity, poor glycaemic control and albuminuria. Adequacy of control of these risk factors determines the frequency and outcome of cardiovascular events in the patients. Current clinical practice guidelines emphasize primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes. There is scarce data from the developing countries, Kenya included, on clinical care of patients with type 2 diabetes in the regions that are far away from tertiary health facilities. So we determined the adequacy of control of the modifiable risk factors: glycaemic control, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity and albuminuria in the study patients from rural and peri-urban dwelling. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study on 385 randomly selected ambulatory patients with type 2 diabetes without overt complications. They were on follow up for at least 6 months at the Out-patient diabetes clinic of Nyeri County Hospital, a public health facility located in the central region of Kenya. RESULTS: Females were 65.5%. The study subjects had a mean duration of diabetes of 9.4 years, IQR of 3.0-14 years. Their mean age was 63.3 years, IQR of 56-71 years. Only 20.3% of our subjects had simultaneous optimal control of the three (3) main cardiovascular risk factors of hypertension, high LDL-C and hyperglycaemia at the time of the study. The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors were as follows: HbA1c above 7% was 60.5% (95% CI, 55.6-65.5), hypertension, 49.6% of whom 76.6% (95% CI, 72.5-80.8) were poorly controlled. High LDL-Cholesterol above 2.0 mmol/L was found in 77.1% (95% CI 73.0-81.3) and Albuminuria occurred in 32.7% (95% CI 27.8-37.4). The prevalence of the other habits with cardiovascular disease risk were: excess alcohol intake at 26.5% (95% CI 27.8-37.4) and cigarette-smoking at 23.6%. A modest 23.4% of the treated patients with hypertension attained target blood pressure of <140/90 mmHg. Out of a paltry 12.5% of the statin-treated patients and others not actively treated, only 22.9% had LDL-Cholesterol of target <2.0 mmol/L. There were no obvious socio-demographic and clinical determinants of poor glycaemic control. However, old age above 50 yrs., longer duration with diabetes above 5 yrs. and advanced stages of CKD were significantly associated with hypertension. Female gender and age, statin non-use and socio-economic factor of employment were the significant determinants of high levels of serum LDL-cholesterol. CONCLUSION: The majority of the study patients attending this government-funded health facility had high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors that were inadequately controlled. Therefore patients with type 2 diabetes should be risk-stratified by their age, duration of diabetes and cardiovascular risk factor loading. Consequently, composite risk factor reduction strategies are needed in management of these patients to achieve the desired targets safely. This would be achieved through innovative care systems and modes of delivery which would translate into maximum benefit of primary cardiovascular disease prevention in those at high risk. It is a desirable quality objective to have a higher proportion of the patients who access care benefiting maximally more than the numbers we are achieving now.
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