Journal of Community Health

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 453–460 | Cite as

Diabetes and Hypertension in Congolese Church Personnel: An Emerging Epidemic?

  • Nancy Houser
  • Philip Baiden
  • Esme Fuller-Thomson
Original Paper


The objectives of this study were (1) to examine the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension among church personnel in North-Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and (2) to identify socio-demographic factors and health behaviors that are associated with these outcomes. Data for this study were obtained from a sample of 670 pastors and their wives, and other church workers in North-Eastern Congo in 2014/2015. Pearson chi square and binary logistic regression analyses were conducted with diabetes status and hypertension as outcome variables. A little over one in ten respondents (11.3 %; n = 76) were diabetic. Of the 76 respondents with diabetes, 49, or approximately two-thirds (64 %) were aged 50 and over. Of the respondents aged 70 and above, 85.5 % were found to be hypertensive. Adjusting for all other predictors, respondents who were older, market women/homemakers, and those who used vehicles as opposed to walking or biking as their means of transport were more likely to be diabetic. Also, respondents who were older or overweight were more likely to have hypertension. The paper discusses the results and their implication for public health policy on diabetes prevention, particularly among older individuals who are religious workers in Africa.


Diabetes Hypertension Church personnel Democratic Republic of Congo 



The first author would like thank the Institut Supérieur des Techniques Médicale of Nyankunde for providing a vehicle each year for more than 1500 km per 3 months for the coverage for the research. The third author would like to acknowledge assistance from the Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declares that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Houser
    • 1
  • Philip Baiden
    • 2
  • Esme Fuller-Thomson
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre Médical EvangéliqueBuniaCongo
  2. 2.Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Sandra Rotman Chair in Social Work, Faculties of Social Work and MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Institute for Life Course & AgingUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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