Exploring knowledge, attitudes and practices related to diabetes in Mongolia: a national population-based survey

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Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are now the leading causes of mortality in Mongolia, and diabetes, in particular, is a growing public health threat. Mongolia is a nation undergoing rapid and widespread epidemiological transition and urbanisation: a process that is expected to continue in coming decades and is likely to increase the diabetes burden. To better inform policy and public-health responses to the impact of the growth in NCDs, a national NCD Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices survey was implemented in Mongolia in 2010; a section of which focused on diabetes. Methods. This survey was a nationally-representative, household-based questionnaire conducted by field-workers. Households were selected using a multi-stage, cluster sampling technique, with one participant (aged 15-64) selected from each of the 3540 households. Questions explored demographic and administrative parameters, as well as knowledge attitudes and practices around NCDs and their risk factors. Results: This research suggests low levels of diabetes-related health knowledge in Mongolia. Up to fifty percent of Mongolian sub-populations, and one in five of the total population, had never heard the term diabetes prior to surveying. This research also highlights a high level of misunderstanding around the symptomatology and natural progression of diabetes; for example, one-third of Mongolians were unaware that the disease could be prevented through lifestyle changes. Further, this study suggests that a low proportion of Mongolians have received counseling or health education about diabetes, with lowest access to such services for the urban poor and least educated sub-populations. Conclusions: This research suggests a low prevalence of diabetes-related health-knowledge among Mongolians. In this light, health-education should be part of any national strategy on diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number236
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-7
Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Research areas

  • Asia, Diabetes, Epidemiology, Gealth policy, KAP, Knowledge, Mongolia, Population

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