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A Comparison of Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Households in Rural Uganda With and Without a Resident With Type 2 Diabetes, 2012–2013
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    Introduction

    Few studies have examined the health consequences of living in a household with a person who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (T2D). We assessed the association of sharing a household with a person with diagnosed T2D and risk factors for cardio-metabolic diseases in Uganda, a low-income country.

    Methods

    Ninety households with 437 residents in southwestern Uganda were studied from December 2012 through March 2013. Forty-five of the households had a member with diagnosed T2D (hereafter “diabetic household”), and 45 households had no member with diagnosed T2D (hereafter “nondiabetic household”). We compared glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), hypertension, anthropometry, aerobic capacity, physical activity, nutrition, smoking, and diabetes-related knowledge of people without diagnosed T2D living in diabetic and nondiabetic households.

    Results

    People living in diabetic households had a significantly higher level of diabetes-related knowledge, lower levels of FPG (5.6 mmol/L vs 6.0 mmol/L), and fewer smoked (1.3% vs 12.9%) than residents of nondiabetic households. HbA1c was significantly lower in people aged 30 years or younger (5.2% vs 5.4%) and in males (5.2% vs 5.4%) living in diabetic households compared to residents of nondiabetic households. No differences were found between the 2 types of households in overweight and obesity, upper-arm fat area, intake of staple foods or cooking oil, or physical activity.

    Conclusions

    Sharing a household with a person with T2D may have unexpected benefits on the risk factor profile for cardio-metabolic diseases, probably because of improved health behaviors and a closer connection with the health care system. Thus, future studies should consider the household for interventions targeting primary and secondary prevention of T2D.