The Burden of Care of Heart Failure in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: The Peculiarities of Sub-Saharan Africa
Non-communicable diseases are rapidly becoming the commonest cause of mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa has one of the largest prevalence of diabetes mellitus in the world. However, the medical, economic, social and emotional barriers against optimal care of patients with diabetes are very prominent in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, poor glycemic control and suboptimal control of other risk factors are not uncommon. These increase the risk of developing cardiovascular complications of diabetes, the endpoint of which is often heart failure.
The care for heart failure patients in sub-saharan Africa has been documented to be significantly low when compared with Asia or Southern America. The direct and indirect costs are unbearable and access to care is often compromised. So, when a patient with diabetes develops heart failure in sub-Saharan Africa, the burden is further magnified out of proportion to other developing regions in the world.
This review article aims to highlight the peculiarities of the burden of care for heart failure patients with diabetes so that concerted efforts can be directed at addressing the challenges. This will lead to improved care of patients with diabetes and prevent them from developing cardiovascular complications like heart failure or to optimally manage these complications if they arise.
Azeez TA*, Oluwasanjo OO