Prevalence and unmet need for diabetes care across the care continuum in a national sample of South African adults: evidence from the SANHANES-1, 2011-2012

OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Stokes, K.M.Berry, Z.J.Mchiza, W.Parker, D.Labadarios, L.Chola, C.Hongoro, K.Zuma, A.T.Brennan, P.C.Rockers, S.Rosen
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10020

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South Africa faces an epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), yet national surveillance is limited due to the lack of recent data. We used data from the first comprehensive national survey on NCDs -the South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES-1 (2011-2012)) - to evaluate the prevalence of and health system response to diabetes through a diabetes care cascade. We defined diabetes as a Hemoglobin A1c equal to or above 6.5% or currently on treatment for diabetes. We constructed a diabetes care cascade by categorizing the population with diabetes into those who were unscreened, screened but undiagnosed, diagnosed but untreated, treated but uncontrolled, and treated and controlled. We then used multivariable logistic regression models to explore factors associated with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes. The age-standardized prevalence of diabetes in South Africans aged 15+ was 10.1%. Prevalence rates were higher among the non-white population and among women. Among individuals with diabetes, a total of 45.4% were unscreened, 14.7% were screened but undiagnosed, 2.3% were diagnosed but untreated, 18.1% were treated but uncontrolled, and 19.4% were treated and controlled, suggesting that 80.6% of the diabetic population had unmet need for care. The diabetes care cascade revealed significant losses from lack of screening, between screening and diagnosis, and between treatment and control. These results point to significant unmet need for diabetes care in South Africa. Additionally, this analysis provides a benchmark for evaluating efforts to manage the rising burden of diabetes in South Africa.