The prevalence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) in 42,981 schoolchildren (aged 7–14 yr) in Khartoum, Sudan, was determined. With the 1985 World Health Organization revised criteria for diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus, the overall crude prevalence rate of IDDM was 0.95/1000 in the age groups studied. This figure is thought to reflect the minimum prevalence of IDDM in that population, because there is an inherent tendency in the method of screening used toward underestimating the true prevalence rate. The prevalence of IDDM was found to increase significantly with age and was slightly higher in girls than boys, but this was not statistically significant. Of 41 children with IDDM detected in the survey, 7 were not known to have IDDM before but were showing suggestive symptoms at the time of the study. This study showed that IDDM in childhood is not rare in Sudan and that probably a substantial number of undiagnosed cases exist.

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