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Diabetes Mellitus in Peru


Jaime E Villena

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Hospital Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
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Peru is an upper medium-income developing country with an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, including diabetes.


To review and describe the epidemiology, drivers, and diabetes care plan in Peru.


The medical literature was reviewed based on systematic searching of PubMed, Scielo, and various gray literature from the International Diabetes Federation, World Health Organization, and local Peruvian agencies.


In Peru, diabetes affects 7% of the population. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 96.8% of outpatients visits with this condition. Type 1 diabetes has an incidence of 0.4/100,000 per year, and gestational diabetes affects 16% of pregnancies. The prevalence of glucose intolerance is 8.11% and that of impaired fasting glucose 22.4%. The prevalence of overweight, obesity, and metabolic syndrome in adults is 34.7%, 17.5%, and 25%, respectively. Metabolic syndrome prevalence is greater in women and the elderly and at urban and low-altitude locations. Diabetes is the eighth cause of death, the sixth cause of blindness, and the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease and nontraumatic lower limb amputation. In Peru, diabetes accounts for 31.5% of acute myocardial infarctions and 25% of strokes. Infections, diabetic emergencies, and cardiovascular disorders are the main causes for admissions, with a mortality rate < 10%, mainly as a result of infections, chronic kidney disease, and stroke. Sixty-two percent of the population has health insurance coverage, with inequities in the distribution of health care personnel across the country. Less than 30% of treated patients have a hemoglobin A1c < 7%.


Diabetes is a major health care issue in Peru that exposes difficult challenges and shortcomings. The national strategy for tackling diabetes includes promotion of healthy lifestyles; training primary care physicians and providing them with evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, safe and effective medications, and tools for monitoring treatment; and, finally, construction of a comprehensive health care network for early referral in order to prevent, detect, and treat diabetic complications.

How to Cite: Villena, J.E., 2016. Diabetes Mellitus in Peru. Annals of Global Health, 81(6), pp.765–775. DOI:
Published on 22 Apr 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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