Background: Opportunistic screening is more efficient than population screening for diabetes mellitus. The aim is to describe the prevalence of unrecognized diabetes mellitus (DM) among out-patients clinic attending in a major hospital in Basrah, Southern Iraq.
Methods: A cross-sectional observational study. The study conducted for the period between January 2006 to end of July 2007. Patients, who attended the out-patient clinic in Al-Faiha hospital in Basrah, were enrolled in this study if they were neither known diabetics nor had florid features of DM, and their age is 18 and above. New DM diagnosis was based on FPG equal to or more than 126 mg/dl (7.0 mmol/l) on two occasions.
Results: The total study sample was 15 505, of whom 7983 (51.5%) were men and 7522 (48.5%) were women. Age range was 44.83±15.83. New DM was seen in 1036 (6.7%). Mean age was higher among those with new diabetes 52.51±12.12 vs 44.29±15.92 (P-value <0.001). No clear difference was seen between both sexes regarding incidence of DM (0.007). All anthropometric indices value was clearly higher among those with diabetes. At age of 45 and above, there was a clear difference between the diabetic group and non-diabetics (P-value <0.001) with prevalence of DM more among those at age of 45 and above in both sexes.
Conclusion: Using opportunistic screening for DM in major hospital in Basrah, Southern Iraq, we detected 6.7% new patients with diabetes in the screened population.