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Self-reported health and glycaemic control in Tanzanian and Swedish diabetic patients


Bibbi Smide, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Döbelnsgatan 2, SE-752 37 Uppsala, Sweden. E-mail:


Self-reported health and glycaemic control in Tanzanian and Swedish diabetic patients Aims of the study.

Aims of the study. To investigate self-reported health in adult Tanzanian and Swedish diabetic patients in relation to the general population in the two countries and to investigate whether diabetic patients with poor glycaemic control also rated their self-reported health to be impaired.

Design/methods. The study design was cross-sectional and comparative. One hundred and fifty Tanzanian patients were age- and gender-matched with Swedish diabetic patients. Self-reported health was measured using the generic SF-36 health questionnaire, measuring eight different health domains. Glycaemic control was measured by testing glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c).

Results. The main results were that Tanzanian diabetic patients had poorer health in comparison with general Tanzanian population living in the same geographical area. In contrast, diabetic patients in Sweden did not markedly differ from the Swedish general population. Furthermore, Tanzanian patients had poorer glycaemic control. In both countries poor glycaemic control did not associate with impaired self-reported health, with one exception. Tanzanian patients with unsatisfactory or poor glycaemic control had significantly poorer reported health in the mental health domain.

Conclusions. The results indicated that patients’ health should be assessed using a specific health measure in addition to general medical measures.

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