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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2017

Use of medical services and medicines attributable to type 2 diabetes care in Yaoundé, Cameroon: a cross-sectional study

BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Clarisse Mapa-Tassou, Leopold K. Fezeu, Zakariaou Njoumemi, Eric Lontchi-Yimagou, Eugène Sobngwi, Jean Claude Mbanya
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12913-017-2197-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The increasing numbers of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a global concern and especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where diabetes must compete for resources with communicable diseases. Diabetes intensifies health care utilisation and leads to an increase in medical care costs. However, In Cameroon like in most developing countries, data on the impact of diabetes on the medical health system are scarce. We aimed to analyse the use of medical services and medicines attributable to T2D care in Yaoundé, Cameroon.


We conducted a cross-sectional study comparing the use of medical services and medicines on 500 people with T2D attending the diabetic outpatient units of three hospitals in Yaoundé and 500 people without diabetes matched for age, sex and residence. We performed multivariate logistic and quantile regressions to assess the effect of diabetes on the use of medical services and medicines and the presence of other chronic health problems. Models were adjusted for age, educational level, marital status, occupation and family income.


Overall, the rate of use of health services was found to be greater in people with T2D than those without diabetes. People with T2D had greater odds of having an outpatient visit to any clinician (OR 97.1 [95% CI: 41.6–226.2]), to be hospitalised (OR 11.9 [95% CI: 1.6–87.9]), to take at least one medicine (OR 83.1 [37.1–185.8]) compared with people without diabetes. We also observed an association between diabetes and some chronic diseases/diabetes complications including hypertension (OR 9.2 [95% CI: 5.0–16.9]), cardiovascular diseases (OR 1.9 [95% CI: 0.8–4.9]), peripheral neuropathy (OR 6.2 [95% CI: 3.4–11.2]), and erectile dysfunction (OR 5.8 [95% CI: 2.7–12.1]).


This study showed that the presence of diabetes is associated with an increased use of health care services and medicines as well as with some chronic diseases/diabetes complications.
Additional file 1: African DM Study impact questionnaire18. Illness Impact interview. This study compared people with and without type 2 diabetes from the same neighbourhoods matched by age and sex. Data was obtained by personal interviews using the Diabetes Impact questionnaire developed by the International Diabetes Federation for Africa. Except for a limited number of questions about diabetes treatment applicable only to the group of patients with diabetes, both groups responded to identical questions. These were divided into 4 categories as follows: Health Utility Index 3, Use of medical services, Impact of health problems and Medications. This study focuses only on the component related to the use of medical services. Most of the questions elicited information on respondents’ use of health services (outpatient visits and hospitalizations) during the period of 3 months leading up to the study as well as any medicines they were taking at the time of the interview. We also asked questions about any prevailing health conditions. (PDF 110 kb)
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