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Diabetes mellitus and susceptibility to infectious diseases in Ghana

In sub-Saharan Africa, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) shows the highest increment worldwide. In the context of limited resources, the identification of risk factors for T2DM is a crucial prerequisite for an efficient bundling of preventive and interventional means. Also, T2DM increases susceptibility to common infectious diseases including tuberculosis.

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Case-control-study in Ghana

In a case-control-study at the Komfo Anoyke Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, some 1,500 participants were examined with respect to dietetic, anthropometric, socio-economic, and behavioral risk factors for T2DM, obesity, and hypertension. Clinical and biochemical investigations were performed as well as interviews on diet styles, physical activity, and socio-economic status. Various biomarkers and genetic polymorphisms were examined with respect to the risk of T2DM, and the significance of risk alleles established among Europeans evaluated in this population. 
These investigations aim at an improved understanding of the epidemiological and pathophysiological causes of the increased risk of T2M among Africans. The expected results form the basis for subsequent, adapted prevention and intervention.

Project Details

Principal Investigator:
Prof. Dr. med. Frank P. Mockenhaupt

Steffen Zander
Till Othmer
Karl-Johann Terpe

Dr. George Bedu-Addo (Co-PI), Komfo Anoyke Teaching Hospital; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Department of Nephrology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
German Institute of Human Nutrition, Potsdam-Rehbrücke

Project duration:

Project status:

Charité, Industry


Danquah I, Othmer T, Frank LK, Bedu-Addo G, Schulze MB, Mockenhaupt FP. The TCF7L2 rs7903146 (T) allele is associated with type 2 diabetes in urban Ghana: a hospital-based case-control study. BMC Med Genet. 2013 Sep 23;14:96.

Frank LK, Heraclides A, Danquah I, Bedu-Addo G, Mockenhaupt FP, Schulze MB. Measures of general and central obesity and risk of type 2 diabetes in a Ghanaian population. Trop Med Int Health. 2013 Feb;18(2):141-51.

Danquah I, Bedu-Addo G, Terpe KJ, Micah F, Amoako YA, Awuku YA, Dietz E, van der Giet M, Spranger J, Mockenhaupt FP. Diabetes mellitus type 2 in urban Ghana: characteristics and associated factors. BMC Public Health. 2012 Mar 20;12:210.

Danquah I, Bedu-Abbo G, Mockenhaupt FP. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and increased risk for malaria infection.
Emerg Infect Dis 2010;16:1601 Nov-Dec;97