Main Article Content
Diabetes mellitus, Complications, Glycemic control
This study addresses the prevalence of ischemic heart disease, hypertension and long-term complications of diabetes mellitus among patients attending the diabetic clinic and their relation to glycemic control.
Methods: A study was conducted on a cross-section on all consecutive patients attending the diabetic clinic at King Khalid National Guard Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from January 2007 to January 2008. The degree of glycemic control was gauged using blood level of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) and classified into good (less 7%), fair (7.1-8%), poor (8.1-9%) and very poor (greater than 9%). All patients were screened for hypertension, ischemic heart disease and microvascular complications.
Results: Two hundred and ten patients were recruited in the study. Glycemic control was good in 17 (8.1%), fair in 49 (23.2%), poor in 56 (26.6%) and very poor in 88 (41.9%). There was high prevalence of retinopathy (76; 36%), microalbuminuria (80; 37.9%), neuropathy (108; 51.2%) and ischemic heart disease (51; 24.2%), especially among patients with poor and very poor control. Although the presence of hypertension, frank nephropathy and peripheral vascular disease was also disturbingly high among diabetic patients, their frequency was the same among good, fair, poor and very poor glycemic control groups.
Conclusion: The prevalence of long-term complications of diabetes mellitus was alarmingly high among Saudi nationals. Microvascular complications and ischemic heart disease were also noticed to be more common in diabetics with poor and very poor glycemic control. This emphasizes the need of national awareness program about the gravity of the problem.