Diabetes/Dementia in Sub-Saharian Africa and Nigerian Women in the Eye of Storm

Efosa K. Oghagbon, José Prieto-Pino, Faeren Dogoh, Monday Ogiator, Lydia Giménez-Llort*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the next few years, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) is projected to dramati-cally increase globally, but most of the cases will occur in low-to-middle-income countries. Some of the major risk factors for diabetes accelerate the development of dementia in African-Ameri-cans, thus leading to a higher prevalence of dementia than Caucasians. Sub-Saharian Africa women have a disproportionately two-to-eight fold increased prevalence of dementia. In the eye of this storm, Nigeria holds the highest number of diabetics on the African continent, and its prevalence is rising in parallel to obesity, hypertension, and the population’s aging. The socio-economic impact of the rising prevalence of DM and dementia will be huge and unsustainable for the healthcare system in Nigeria, as has been recognized in developed economies. Here, we analyze the current situa-tion of women's health in Nigeria and explore future perspectives and directions. The complex in-terplay of factors involved in diabetes and dementia in Nigerian women include key biological agents (metabolic syndrome, vascular damage, inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin resistance), nutritional habits, lifestyle, and anemia, that worsen with comorbidities. In addition, restricted re-sources, lack of visibility, and poor management result in a painful chain that increases the risk and burden of disease in Nigerian women from youth to old ages. Heath policies to increase the ratio of mental health professionals per number of patients, mostly in rural areas, foment of proactive primary care centers, and interventions targeting adolescents and adult women and other specific mothers-children pairs are strongly required for a sustainable development goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Alzheimer Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Dementia
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Health policies
  • LMIC
  • Risk factors
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Women


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