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In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), growth rates of diabetes
mellitus (DM) and hypertension are among the highest
worldwide. While today an overall DM prevalence of 4%
is assumed, the number of affected patients is projected
to double from 12 to 24 million within the next 20
years [1-4].
DM and other chronic diseases hit Africa in particular:
The health system does not reach a considerable portion
of the population, has a focus on emergencies and infectious
diseases, and is frequently limited in staff and
infrastructure. Not rarely, health workers are insufficiently
trained in chronic disease management [2].
Severe complications and a reduced life expectancy for
both diabetic and hypertensive patients are among the
consequences [4-6].
In urban Ghana, type 2 DM (DM2) affects at least 6%
of adults and is associated with age and obesity. Some
23% of adults are overweight, and this has been related
to advanced age, female gender, urban environment,
high income and tertiary education [7,8]. Epidemiological
data suggest interactions between acculturation,
urbanisation, and genetic disposition to be involved in
DM2 among Ghanaians [5,9,10].
Contrasting increasing prevalence