Body composition of type 2 diabetes patients in Uganda: A case-control study

Submitted: 4 June 2022
Accepted: 28 June 2022
Published: 1 February 2023
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Introduction: The prevalence of obesity among people diag-nosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) has been widely documented. However, the specific composition of this body-weight remains largely unknown. The study aimed to understand the body composition of T2DM patients using the bioelectric impedance analysis technique, comparing findings to sex and age-matched controls. 

Materials and Methods: A comparative case-control study was carried out among 139 known cases of Type 2 diabetes aged 18 to 78 years randomly sampled from the diabetic clinic of Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. We matched them to 139 hos-pital controls who were healthy non-diabetic attendants. Body composition parameters were computed and summarized as medi-ans and interquartile ranges. Differences in the medians of body composition parameters were further assessed using the Mann-Whitney U test. Fat-free and fat mass indices were derived to offer a precise estimation of body composition parameters adjusted for height differences among study participants.

Results: Cases had significantly higher median systolic blood pressure, pulse rate, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR), total fat percentage, fat mass amount, Fat Mass Index, visceral fat, and metabolic age than their counterparts, whereas controls had significantly higher median total body water percentage versus cases. The highest significant differences occurred in fat percentage composition (Cases: β: 6.9 (95% C.I: 4.4, 9.4); Controls: Ref) followed by visceral fat (Cases: β: 3.5 (95% C.I: 2.5, 4.4); controls: Ref) and Fat Mass Index (Cases: 95% C.I: 2.6 (95% C.I: 1.6, 3.7). Cases had significantly higher Fat Mass Index, visceral fat and fat percentage (all p<0.05) than con-trols.

Conclusions: Routine assessment of body composition of T2DM patients needs to be done to assess the amount, type and pattern of weight gain to prevent increases in adiposity.

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Supporting Agencies

Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, Hansjoerg Wyss and Massachusetts General Hospital.


Buyinza, R., Nsamba, J., Muyingo, A., Matovu, N., Nabirye, G., Kantengwa, A., Akandunda, S., Sseguya, W., & Mathews, E. (2023). Body composition of type 2 diabetes patients in Uganda: A case-control study. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 14(1).


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