Diabetes Mellitus in Peru
BACKGROUND: Peru is an upper medium-income developing country with an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, including diabetes. OBJECTIVE: To review and describe the epidemiology, drivers, and diabetes care plan in Peru. METHODS: The medical literature was reviewed based on systematic searching of PubMed, Scielo, and various gray literature from the International Diabetes Federation, World Health Organization, and local Peruvian agencies. FINDINGS: In Peru, diabetes affects 7% of the population. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 96.8% of outpatients visits with this condition. Type 1 diabetes has an incidence of 0.4/100,000 per year, and gestational diabetes affects 16% of pregnancies. The prevalence of glucose intolerance is 8.11% and that of impaired fasting glucose 22.4%. The prevalence of overweight, obesity, and metabolic syndrome in adults is 34.7%, 17.5%, and 25%, respectively. Metabolic syndrome prevalence is greater in women and the elderly and at urban and low-altitude locations. Diabetes is the eighth cause of death, the sixth cause of blindness, and the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease and nontraumatic lower limb amputation. In Peru, diabetes accounts for 31.5% of acute myocardial infarctions and 25% of strokes. Infections, diabetic emergencies, and cardiovascular disorders are the main causes for admissions, with a mortality rate < 10%, mainly as a result of infections, chronic kidney disease, and stroke. Sixty-two percent of the population has health insurance coverage, with inequities in the distribution of health care personnel across the country. Less than 30% of treated patients have a hemoglobin A1c < 7%. CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes is a major health care issue in Peru that exposes difficult challenges and shortcomings. The national strategy for tackling diabetes includes promotion of healthy lifestyles; training primary care physicians and providing them with evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, safe and effective medications, and tools for monitoring treatment; and, finally, construction of a comprehensive health care network for early referral in order to prevent, detect, and treat diabetic complications.
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