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Eur J Public Health. 2004 Mar;14(1):10-4.

The prevalence of known diabetes in eight European countries.

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Nivel Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



The prevalence of diabetes has been proposed as a European Community Health Indicator. The prevalence of diabetes known to general practitioners (GPs) in different European countries has been investigated and the usefulness of sentinel practice networks in delivering prevalence data on diabetes has been evaluated.


Patients presenting with diabetes in a 12 month period (1999/2000) to GPs in established European sentinel practice surveillance networks in eight European countries were registered. Estimates of prevalence were standardized to the 1998 European population.


All-age prevalence reported in the network populations was lowest in Slovenia (male 16, female 16 per 1000) and highest in Belgium (male 31, female 34). The range of estimates obtained in this study was narrower than that published by the WHO in the Health For All database. The range was further reduced by age standardization. In males aged 45 years and over, age standardized prevalence ranged from 39 (Slovenia) to 76 (Belgium) and in females from 37 (Slovenia) to 75 (Belgium). There were no consistent gender differences in national prevalence rates.


The study demonstrates the capacity of sentinel practice networks to deliver data on the prevalence of known diabetes in persons over 45 years. National differences in prevalence are less than hitherto reported. Prevalence in Belgium measured in all ages and in 45 years and over males and females was higher than in the seven other countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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