Screening for diabetes and hypertension in a rural low income setting in western Kenya utilizing home-based and community-based strategies

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The burdens of hypertension and diabetes are increasing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It is important to identify patients with these conditions early in the disease process. The goal of this study, therefore, is to compare community- versus home-based screening for hypertension and diabetes in Kenya.<br /><br />METHODS: This was a feasibility study conducted by the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) program in Webuye, a town in western Kenya. Home-based (door-to-door) screening occurred in March 2010 and community-based screening in November 2011. HIV counselors were trained to screen for diabetes and hypertension in the home-based screening with local district hospital based staff conducting the community-based screening. Participants >18 years old qualified for screening in both groups. Counselors referred all participants with a systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 160 mmHg and/or a random blood glucose ≥ 7 mmol/L (126 mg/dL) to a local clinic for follow-up. Differences in likelihood of screening positive between the two strategies were compared using Fischer's Exact Test. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with the likelihood of following-up after a positive screening.<br /><br />RESULTS: There were 236 participants in home-based screening: 13 (6%) had a SBP ≥ 160 mmHg, and 54 (23%) had a random glucose ≥ 7 mmol/L. There were 346 participants in community-based screening: 35 (10%) had a SBP ≥ 160 mmHg, and 27 (8%) had a random glucose ≥ 7 mmol/L. Participants in community-based screening were twice as likely to screen positive for hypertension compared to home-based screening (OR=1.93, P=0.06). In contrast, participants were 3.5 times more likely to screen positive for a random blood glucose ≥ 7 mmol/L with home-based screening (OR=3.51, P<0.01). Rates for following-up at the clinic after a positive screen were low for both groups with 31% of patients with an elevated SBP returning for confirmation in both the community-based and home-based group (P=1.0). Follow-up after a random glucose was also low with 23% returning in the home-based group and 22% in the community-based group (P=1.0).<br /><br />CONCLUSION: Community- or home-based screening for diabetes and hypertension in LMICs is feasible. Due to low rates of follow-up, screening efforts in rural settings should focus on linking cases to care.

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Pastakia, S. D., Ali, S. M., Kamano, J. H., Akwanalo, C. O., Ndege, S. K., Buckwalter, V. L., … Bloomfield, G. S. (2013). Screening for diabetes and hypertension in a rural low income setting in western Kenya utilizing home-based and community-based strategies. Globalization and Health, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-8603-9-21

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