Convergence of infectious and non-communicable disease epidemics in rural South Africa: A cross-sectional, population-based multimorbidity study

The Lancet Global HealthWong EB, Olivier S, Gunda R, et al. | June 17, 2021

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Researchers aimed at determining the prevalence and overlap of infectious and non-communicable diseases in HIV endemic populations in rural South Africa. In this cross-sectional study, eligible adolescents and adults from the Africa Health Research Institute demographic surveillance area in the uMkhanyakude district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, were invited to participate at a mobile health camp. Researchers herein recruited and assessed 17,118 adolescents and adults from May 25, 2018, to Nov 28, 2019. At least one active disease was evident in 52·1% of the participants. 34·2% had HIV, 1·4% had active tuberculosis, 21·8% had lifetime tuberculosis, 8·5% had elevated blood glucose, and 23·0% had raised blood pressure. Findings overall suggest that infectious and non-communicable disease epidemics converge in this rural population, with HIV well managed relative to all other diseases, but tuberculosis, elevated blood glucose, and elevated blood pressure poorly diagnosed and treated. In order to optimize health in such settings in sub-Saharan Africa, they suggest a necessity for a public health response that expands the successes of the HIV testing and treatment programme to provide multi disease care targeted to specific populations.

Read the full article on The Lancet Global Health

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