Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Aleppo, Syria


Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is considerable public health problem, but data on the prevalence and correlates of T2DM in Syria are scarce. The aim of the present study was to establish reliable estimates of the prevalence of T2DM in Syria. Methods: A cross-sectional, population-based survey was conducted in Aleppo, Syria (population 2.5 million), in 2006. The study was conducted on a random sample of 1168 subjects ≥25 years of age (47.7% men; mean age 44.7 ± 12.7 years). Information regarding a personal history of diabetes and other risk factors was collected, followed by measurement of weight, height, and the waist:hip ratio (WHR). Of the 1168 participants, 806 provided fasting blood samples that were analyzed for fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and HbA1c. Results: The prevalence of T2DM based on FPG ≥126 mg/dL and HbA1c ≥6.5% was 15.6% (11.2% self-reported; 5.0% diagnosed) and 14.8%, respectively. The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (FPG ≥110 and <126 mg/dL) was 8.6%. There was a significant positive association between T2DM and age, WHR, a family history of T2DM, and body mass index (BMI) and an inverse association between T2DM and physical activity (P < 0.01 for all). Multivariate analysis showed that age, BMI, WHR, and a family history of T2DM were the most important factors associated with T2DM. Only 16.7% of treated cases of T2DM were under control (i.e. HbA1c <7%). Conclusions: Based on the results obtained in our sample, T2DM is widespread in Syria. Many of those with T2DM are unaware of their disease and most have unsatisfactory control of their disease. © 2009 Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Publication Title

Journal of Diabetes