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Diabetes Care in Republic of Macedonia: Challenges and Opportunities

Authors:

Ivica Smokovski ,

National Diabetes Committee and University Clinic of Emergency Internal Medicine and Toxicology, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
About Ivica
MD, PhD
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Tatjana Milenkovic,

National Diabetes Committee and University Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
About Tatjana
MD, PhD
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Caroline Trapp,

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, DC; Premier Internists, A Division of the Millennium Medical Group, P.C., Southfield, MI, USA
About Caroline
DNP, ANP-BC, CDE, FAANP
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Aleksandar Mitov

Cabinet of President of Government, Republic of Macedonia
About Aleksandar
MD, MSc, MPhil
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Abstract

Background

The Republic of Macedonia (RoM) has experienced a rapid rise in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) over the past 2 decades, a period characterized by significant social, political, and economic change. RoM now has one of the highest rates of diabetes in Europe.

Objectives

To explore the modifiable conditions that may underlie and exacerbate the T2D epidemic; describe the state of diabetes care; and consider improved mechanisms for prevention and treatment, including research priorities, in RoM.

Methods

Methods included data mining from reliable sources and collaboration of authors to consider and describe applications of research from outside RoM and to identify evidence-based strategies to reduce the burden of T2D in RoM.

Findings

In 2014, the national prevalence of diabetes was 11.44% of the population (20-79 years) of RoM. Per capita caloric intake has increased significantly over the past 2 decades, with the majority of these calories coming from sugar, pork, chicken, beef, and sunflower oil. Excess calories, in the form of nutrient-deficient foods, animal products, and added oils promote insulin resistance and T2D. Tobacco use and lack of physical activity also contribute to the diabetes epidemic. Insulin, especially insulin analogues, are widely available and used to manage diabetes, often over other interventions that are more appropriate for patients with T2D, and more frequently than in other more developed countries, resulting in higher and unsustainable related costs.

Conclusions

A new National eHealth System allows for better identification and monitoring of citizens with diabetes. However, the rapidly growing expense of insulin in the past has been unsustainable. The potential exists for a stronger role for lifestyle interventions in prevention and treatment of T2D. Significant changes in dietary patterns parallel the rise in diabetes prevalence and are likely a leading cause of diabetes and its complications. Research in RoM is needed to determine the impact and acceptability of dietary interventions for prevention and treatment of T2D, as a first step toward reduction of diabetes prevalence and its complications and controlling spiraling health care costs.

How to Cite: Smokovski, I., Milenkovic, T., Trapp, C. and Mitov, A., 2016. Diabetes Care in Republic of Macedonia: Challenges and Opportunities. Annals of Global Health, 81(6), pp.792–802. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2015.12.017
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Published on 22 Apr 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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