Background: The prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes are increasingly high in developing countries, where detection rates remain very low. This manuscript discusses the rationale, challenges and opportunities for early detection of diabetes and prediabetes in developing countries. Methods: PubMed was searched up to March 2012 for studies addressing screening for hyperglycemia in developing countries. Relevant studies were summarized through key questions derived from the Wilson and Junger criteria. Results: In developing countries, diabetes predominantly affects working-age persons, has high rates of complications and devastating economic impacts. These countries are ill-equipped to handle advanced stages of the disease. There are acceptable and relatively simple tools that can aid screening in these countries. Interventions shown to be cost-effective in preventing diabetes and its complications in developed countries can be used in screen-detected people of developing countries. However, effective implementation of these interventions remains a challenge, and the costs and benefits of diabetes screening in these settings are less well-known. Implementing screening policies in developing countries will require health systems strengthening, through creative funding and staff training. Conclusions: For many compelling reasons, screening for hyperglycemia preferably targeted, should be a policy priority in developing countries. This will help reorient health systems toward cost-saving prevention.
- Developing countries
- Diabetes mellitus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism