Screening for hyperglycemia in the developing world: Rationale, challenges and opportunities

Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, Mary Mayige, Anthonia Okeoghene Ogbera, Eugene Sobngwi, Andre P. Kengne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Developing countries
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Prediabetes
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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