Aim. To assess prevalence, type and covariates of abnormal left ventricular (LV) geometry in untreated native Tanzanian patients with hypertension in relation to normotensive controls. Methods. Echocardiography was performed in 161 untreated hypertensive outpatients and 80 normotensive controls at a tertiary hospital in Tanzania. Hypertensive heart disease was defined as presence of increased LV mass or relative wall thickness (RWT). Results. The prevalence of hypertensive heart disease increased with the severity of hypertension and was on average 62.1% among patients and 12.5% in controls. In multivariate analyses, higher LV mass index was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (? = 0.28), body mass index (? = 0.20), peak early transmitral to medial mitral annulus velocity ratio (? = 0.16), and with lower stress-corrected midwall shortening (scMWS) (? = - 0.44) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (? = - 0.16), all p < 0.05. Higher RWT was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (? = 0.16), longer E-wave deceleration time (? = 0.23) and lower scMWS (? = - 0.66), irrespective of LV mass (all p < 0.05). Conclusion. Subclinical hypertensive heart disease is highly prevalent in untreated native hypertensive Tanzanians and associated with both systolic and diastolic LV dysfunction. Management of hypertension in Africans should include high focus on subclinical hypertensive heart disease.
Foot complications cause substantial morbidity in Tanzania, where 70% of leg amputations occur in diabetic patients. The Step by Step Foot Project was initiated to train healthcare personnel in diabetic foot management, facilitate transfer of knowledge and expertise, and improve patient education. The project comprised a 3-day basic course with an interim period 1-year of for screening, followed by an advanced course and evaluation of activities. Fifteen centres from across Tanzania participated during 2004-2006 and 12 during 2004-2007. Of 11,714 patients screened in 2005, 4335 (37%) had high-risk feet. Of 461 (11%) with ulcers, 45 (9·8%) underwent major amputation. Of 3860 patients screened during 2006-2007, there was a significant increase in the proportion with ulcers and amputations compared with 2005 (P < 0·001), likely a result of enhanced case finding. During 2005-2008, there was a fall in the incidence of foot ulcers in patient referrals to the main tertiary care centre in Dar es Salaam and a parallel fall in amputation among these referrals. In conclusion, the Step by Step Foot Project in Tanzania improved foot ulcer management for persons with diabetes and resulted in permanent, operational foot clinics across the country. This programme is an effective model for improving outcomes in other less-developed countries.
To characterise the role of ethnicity in the occurrence of foot ulcer disease in persons with diabetes, we analysed prospectively collected data for persons attending the diabetes clinic at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A case was defined as any adult presenting to MNH with an ulcer at or below the ankle joint during July 1998-June 2005. We documented clinical and epidemiologic characteristics, progress, interventions and outcome. Seven hundred and eight persons met the case definition - 570 (80%) ethnic Africans and 138 (20%) Asian Indians. Ethnic Africans were more likely to present with gangrene (P < 0.01); Indians were more likely to be obese (P < 0.001) or have large vessel disease (P < 0.001). For Africans, intrinsic complications (neuro-ischaemia or macrovascular disease) delayed ulcer healing; for Asian Indians, mode of intervention (e.g. sloughectomy or glycaemic control with insulin or oral agents) determined the same outcome. Indigenous ethnic African and Asian Indian populations with diabetes display contrasting foot ulcer epidemiology. Peripheral vascular disease and gangrene are playing a larger role in ulcer pathogenesis and outcomes for both ethnic groups than was previously thought. Preventive efforts and interventions should be tailored to the two ethnic groups to achieve complete ulcer healing.
In Tanzania, limited laboratory services often preclude routine identification of microorganisms that cause infections in persons with diabetes. Thus, we carried out this study to determine the utility of a Gram stain alone versus culture in guiding appropriate antimicrobial therapy. During February 2006 to December 2007 (study period), deep tissue biopsies were obtained from persons with diabetes presenting to the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) with infected limb ulcers. Specimens were Gram-stained then cultured for bacteria and fungi. Biopsies were obtained from 128 patients. Of 128 cultures, 118 (92%) yielded bacterial or fungal growth; 59 (50%) of these 118 cultures yielded mixed growth (80% included Gram-negative organisms); 38 (32%) and 20 (17%) yielded Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms alone, respectively. The predictive value positive of a Gram stain for bacterial growth was 93% (110/118); a Gram-positive stain was 75% (15/20) predictive of growth of Gram-positive organisms whereas a Gram-negative stain was 82% (31/38) predictive of growth of Gram-negative organisms. In regions with limited resources, a Gram stain of an ulcer biopsy that is carefully procured is largely predictive of the type of microorganism causing infection. Gram staining of deep tissue biopsies might have a potential role to play in the management of infected diabetic limb ulcers.
To determine the prevalence of left atrial (LA) enlargement and its relation to left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction among asymptomatic diabetic outpatients attending Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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