Metabolic risk factors for non-communicable diseases in Ethiopia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Tilahun Tewabe Alamnia, Wubshet Tesfaye, Solomon Abrha, Matthew Kelly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    31 Downloads (Pure)


    Objectives Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are causing a new and yetsignificant health challenge in low-income countries. In Ethiopia, although 39% of deaths are NCD related, the health system remains underprepared, highlighting the clear need for evidence on risk factor distributions to inform resource planning and the health response. Therefore, this review investigates prevalence distributions and sex and age variations of metabolic risk factors among Ethiopian adults.

    Research design and methods This systematic review used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Studies published until 6 January 2021 were searched from PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest and Web of Science databases, reference lists of selected studies and grey literature. Studies reporting prevalence of metabolic risk factors: overweight/obesity, hypertension, impaired glucose homoeostasis and metabolic syndrome among Ethiopian adults were eligible for this systematic review and meta-analysis. Two authors independently extracted data and used the Joanna Briggs Institute tool for quality appraisal. The random effects model was used to conduct meta-analysis using Stata V.16. Subgroup analyses examined prevalence differences by region, study year, sample size and settings.

    Results From 6087 records, 74 studies including 104 382 participants were included. Most showed high prevalence of metabolic risk factors. Meta-analysis revealed pooled prevalence of metabolic risk factors from 12% to 24% with the highest prevalence observed for overweight/obesity (23.9%, 95% CI 19.9% to 28.0%) and hypertension (21.1%, 95% CI 18.7% to 23.5%), followed by metabolic syndrome (14.7%, 95% CI 9.8% to 19.6%) and impaired glucose tolerance (12.4%, 95% CI 8.7% to 16.1%). The prevalence of overweight/obesity was higher in women. All metabolic risk factors were higher among people aged above 45 years.

    Conclusions A signficant proportion of Ethiopian adults have at least one metabolic risk factor for NCDs. Despite heterogeneity of studies limiting the certainty of evidence, the result suggests the need for coordinated effort among policymakers, healthcare providers, non-governmental stakeholders and the community to implement appropriate preventive measures to reduce these factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere049565
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalBMJ Open
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2021


    Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolic risk factors for non-communicable diseases in Ethiopia: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this