Vol 12, No 3 (2023)
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Published online: 2023-05-30

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Prevalence of Complications and Factors Affecting It among People with Type 2 Diabetes in Rural Areas of North Iran

Fatemeh Bay1, Naser Darakhshani2, Saeed Fallah3, Vahid Bay3
Clin Diabetol 2023;12(3):211-212.


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ISSN 2450–7458
e-ISSN 2450–8187

Prevalence of Complications and Factors Affecting It among People with Type 2 Diabetes in Rural Areas of North Iran

Fatemeh Bay1Naser Darakhshani2Saeed Fallah3Vahid Bay3
1Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Physical Education, Gonbad Kavous University, Gonbad Kavous, Iran
2Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3Health Management and Social Development Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

Address for correspondence:

Vahid Bay

Email: vahid.bay.2@gmail.com

Clinical Diabetology 2023, 12; 3: 211–212

DOI: 10.5603/DK.a2023.0016

Received: 1.04.2023 Accepted: 19.04.2023

Early publication date: 30.05.2023

This article is available in open access under Creative Common Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license, allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.


This study was aimed to evaluate prevalence of complications and factors associated with it among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the rural areas of North Iran.

Materials and methods

This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study conducted at rural areas of Golestan province, Iran. In these areas, diabetes care is provided free of cost through rural government health centers. Three hundred forty patients with T2D were included in this study by stratified random sampling method. The data was collected using a checklist from the medical records of the patients. The data were analyzed using SPSS 16 software.


Of 340 participants with T2D, 100 had some form of diabetes complications (32.5%). The majority of them were female (71%) and 9% were smokers. More than 80% of patients did not exercise at least three times a week (for 150 minutes). The most common complications of diabetes were related to decreased foot sensation (13.9%), visual impairments (7.7%), heart complications (6.2%) and kidney complications (5.1%) (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Frequency of Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Advanced age, longer duration of T2D and history of smoking were associated with higher rate of diabetes complications and complications of diabetes in patients who smoke were 2.64 times higher than other patients (Tab. 1).

Table 1. Studied Variables in Relation to the Complications


Mean ± SD / Number


Patients with complications

Patients without complications

Age [years]

59.8 ± 9

55.6 ± 10


Family size

4.1 ± 1.6

4.5 ± 1.8


Duration of the disease [years]

8.5 ± 6

7 ±5


Glycated hemoglobin [%]

7.9 ± 1.6

8.1 ± 1.8


Body mass index [kg/m²]

29.2 ± 7

29.2 ± 5


Low-density lipoprotein [mg/dL]

106 ± 37

99.4 ± 35










Smoking (cigarettes, drugs)









Similar to studies from around the world, our study found higher prevalence of diabetes complications in rural Iran [1, 2]. Age, diabetes duration and smoking were associated with increasing rate of diabetes complications.

Our study calls have important clinical implications. Patient education, improving the quality of care, adherence of government diabetes program and optimal glycemic control may help to lower complications among people with T2D in rural Iran.

Our study has many limitations. Cross-sectional design, small sample size and collection of data from records are major limiting factors. Generalization of our findings are also limited.


This study received no financial support.


The research team of this study would like to thank Golestan University of Medical Sciences and all the study participants for their sincere cooperation.

Conflict of interest

None declared.


  1. Kosiborod M, Gomes MB, Nicolucci A, et al. DISCOVER investigators. Vascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes: prevalence and associated factors in 38 countries (the DISCOVER study program). Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2018; 17(1): 150, doi: 10.1186/s12933-018-0787-8, indexed in Pubmed: 30486889.
  2. Moradi Y, Baradaran HR, Djalalinia S, et al. Complications of type 2 diabetes in Iranian population: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2019; 13(3): 2300–2312, doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2019.05.018, indexed in Pubmed: 31235172.