Objective. In recent times, Diabetes Mellitus (DM) has had a rapid increase in developing countries as a result of changing lifestyles among the people. This study was therefore aimed to investigate the level of awareness of DM and its associated risk factors in Afao: a rural community located in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Design. The study was descriptive cross-sectional in design. A multi-stage sampling technique was applied to recruit respond- ents who are residents in the community. Two hundred and one individuals were involved in this community-based study. Infor- mation was obtained using a modified WHO STEPwise approach to chronic disease risk surveillance. The questionnaire included questions that assessed socio-demographic characteristics, dia- betic risk factors and anthropometric measures of respondents.
Result. Of the 134 (66.7%) respondents aware of DM, only an average of 43.9% had knowledge of its risk factors. Respon- dent’s body mass index was significantly associated (P < 0.01 with knowledge of overweight/obesity as overweight (52.9%), grade 1 obese (62.5%) and morbid obese (100%) respondents had no knowledge of their status as risk factors for DM. Also, respondent’s blood pressure status showed a significant associa- tion (P = 0.099) with respondent’s knowledge of high blood pres- sure, 62.5% of those unaware of their blood pressure status had no knowledge of high blood pressure as a diabetes risk factor. Respondent’s age (P = 0.024) and diet; daily vegetable servings (P = 0.015) and cooking oil (P = 0.05) showed significant asso- ciation with the occurrence of the disease in 14.4% respondents previously diagnosed.
Conclusion. This study shows a need to improve on the level of awareness of diabetes risk factors in Afao. Routine measurement of blood glucose levels for adults, community health education and enlightenment strategies through the ministry of health on the awareness of diabetes are highly recommended for the Afao com- munity.
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