Current State of Diabetes Mellitus Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, and Control in Latin America: Challenges and Innovative Solutions to Improve Health Outcomes Across the Continent

Curr Diab Rep. 2020 Oct 10;20(11):62. doi: 10.1007/s11892-020-01341-9.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Latin America is the scenario of great inequalities where about 32 million human beings live with diabetes. Through this review, we aimed at describing the current state of the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of diabetes mellitus and completion of selected guidelines of care across Latin America and identify opportunities to advance research that promotes better health outcomes.

RECENT FINDINGS: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus has been consistently increasing across the region, with some variation: higher prevalence in Mexico, Haiti, and Puerto Rico and lower in Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Uruguay. Prevalence assessment methods vary, and potentially underestimating the real number of persons with diabetes. Diabetes unawareness varies widely, with up to 50% of persons with diabetes who do not know they may have the disease. Glycemic, blood pressure, and LDL-C control and completion of guidelines to prevent microvascular complications are not consistently assessed across studies, and the achievement of control goals is suboptimal. On the other hand, multiple interventions, point-of-care/rapid assessment tools, and alternative models of health care delivery have been proposed and tested throughout Latin America. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus continues to rise across Latin America, and the number of those with the disease may be underestimated. However, some local governments are embedding more comprehensive diabetes assessments in their local national surveys. Clinicians and public health advocates in the region have proposed and initiated various multi-level interventions to address this enormous challenge in the region.

PMID:33037442 | DOI:10.1007/s11892-020-01341-9