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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Globalization and Health 1/2014

Diabetes in Algeria and challenges for health policy: a literature review of prevalence, cost, management and outcomes of diabetes and its complications

Globalization and Health > Ausgabe 1/2014
Larbi Lamri, Erofile Gripiotis, Alessandra Ferrario
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

AF received travel reimbursement and speaker fees from Novo Nordisk for delivering two presentations on diabetes in EU5 at national diabetes conferences in Portugal and Spain. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Authors’ contributions

All authors contributed to the literature review and in the appraisal of the retrieved information. LL conducted interviews with local experts. LL wrote the first draft of the article, EG redrafted subsequent versions with input from AF and LL up to its final version. All authors approved the final manuscript.



Diabetes has become an increasingly prevalent and severe public health issue in Algeria. This article investigates the prevalence, the cost and the management of this disease. Its first objective is to better understand the burden (both from an epidemiological and economic perspective) and management of diabetes. The second objective is to understand the health policy strategy adopted by Algeria in order to respond to the disease.


We conducted a literature review of prevalence, costs, management and outcomes of diabetes and its complications. This was complemented by data compilations and results of expert consultations.


The epidemiology of diabetes is continually evolving and is becoming more problematic. The national evidence suggests that the prevalence of diabetes in Algeria has increased from 6.8% in 1990 to 12.29% in 2005, but is quite higher among certain groups and areas of the country. This disease affects all population groups, especially 35–70 year olds, who constitute a large segment of the working population. There are very few estimates of the cost of diabetes. These include a 1998 study on the total cost of type 1 diabetes (USD 11.6 million, which, inflated to 2013 value, totals to USD 16.6 million), a study on the cost of complications in 2010 (at 2013 value, ranging from USD 141 for first-year treatment of peripheral vascular disease to USD 30,441 for first-year cost of renal transplantation) and the 2013 IDF estimates of total cost of type 1 and type 2 diabetes (USD 513 million).


As the prevalence of diabetes continues to increase, the financial burden will increasingly weigh heavily on social security resources and the government budget. Future priorities must focus on empowering general practitioners in treating type 2 diabetes, improving screening of diabetes and its complications, tackling the growing obesity epidemic, strengthening health information systems and implementing the national diabetes prevention and control plan.
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