Original Research

Prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension amongst the HIV-positive population at a district hospital in eThekwini, South Africa

Althea Rajagopaul, Mergan Naidoo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 13, No 1 | a2766 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v13i1.2766 | © 2021 Althea Rajagopaul, Mergan Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 September 2020 | Published: 29 September 2021

About the author(s)

Althea Rajagopaul, Discipline of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Mergan Naidoo, Discipline of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Life expectancies of HIV-positive patients have been increasing with the rapid implementation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). This has led to an increase in comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HT) amongst the HIV population. The burden of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as DM and HT need to be quantified in order to ensure that patients receive optimal integrated care as patients often access care at different clinics compromising holistic care.

Aim: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of DM and HT amongst the HIV-positive population.

Setting: The study was conducted at Wentworth Hospital, a district facility in South Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of two NCDs, namely DM and HT in HIV-positive patients attending the ART clinic at a district hospital in the eThekwini district. We compared the socio-demographic and clinical profiles of those with and without comorbidities. A sample of 301 HIV-positive patients were administered a structured questionnaire.

Results: Of the 301 patients, 230 (76.41%) had HIV only (95% confidence interval [CI]: 71.25–80.89) and 71 (23.59%) had HIV and at least one comorbidity, namely DM and/or HT (95% CI: 19.11-28.75). Hypertension was the most prevalent comorbidity. This study revealed that there was no association between the duration of ART and comorbidities. Older age and body mass index (BMI) were associated with comorbidities, whilst gender and ethnicity were not associated.

Conclusion: Non-communicable diseases such as DM and HT do pose a burden for HIV-positive patients attending the ARV clinic at this district facility. This study highlights the definite need to plan for the increased burden of NCDs as HIV-positive patients live longer and gain weight.


Keywords

HIV; diabetes mellitus; hypertension; prevalence duration of treatment age; BMI; gender

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