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Socioeconomic disparities in diabetes prevalence and management among the adult population in Bangladesh
Authors: Karar Zunaid Ahsan, Afrin Iqbal, Kanta Jamil, M. Moinuddin Haider, Shusmita Hossain Khan, Nitai Chakraborty, and Peter Kim Streatfield
Source: PLOS ONE , DOI:
Topic(s): Adult health
Country: Asia
Published: DEC 2022
Abstract: Background: Diabetes, one of the major metabolic disorders, is rising in Bangladesh. Studies indicate there is inequality in prevalence and care-seeking behavior, which requires further exploration to understand the socioeconomic disparities in the pathophysiology of diabetes. This study examined the latest nationally representative estimates of diabetes prevalence, awareness, and management among adults aged 18 years and above in Bangladesh and its association with socioeconomic status in 2017–18. Methods: We used the 2017–18 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey data. Diabetic status of 12,092 adults aged 18 years and above was measured in the survey using fasting plasma glucose levels. We applied multivariate logistic regressions to examine the role of socioeconomic status on diabetes prevalence, awareness, and management, after controlling for relevant covariates. Results: Overall, 10% of adults had diabetes in Bangladesh in 2017–18, with the highest prevalence of 16% in the age group 55-64 years. Our analyses found statistically significant disparities by socioeconomic status in the prevalence of diabetes as well as the person’s awareness of his/her diabetic condition. However, the effect of socioeconomic status on receiving anti-diabetic medication only approached significance (p = 0.07), and we found no significant association between socioeconomic status and control of diabetes. Conclusions: We expect to see an ‘accumulation’ of the number of people with diabetes to continue in the coming years. The rising prevalence of diabetes is only the tip of an iceberg; a large number of people with uncontrolled diabetes and a lack of awareness of their condition will lead to increased morbidity and mortality, and that could be the real threat. Immediate measures to increase screening coverage and exploration of poor control of diabetes are required to mitigate the situation.