518 Prevalence Of Diabetes Known To General Practitioners In Selected European Countries

Douglas Fleming
Chairman’s Introduction
Over the last three years the European Commission has been developing a set of health indicators for use as the main national comparators in relation to lifestyle, health status, morbidity and mortality. These data will be collected from the most appropriate source which will be determined by the practicability and cost effectiveness of data acquisition. This symposium is concerned with the place of general practice, and in particular, of practice surveillance networks in the provision of such data. The EGPRW has been collaborating on the promoting of routine disease monitoring in general practice since 1986.
Data acquisition in specially designed surveys is often an expensive exercise, whereas data capture as part of routine operational activity can often be undertaken at marginal cost. Operational research also provides opportunities for continuous surveillance as opposed to ‘one-off surveys’. The three presentations in this symposium are all taken from operational research in primary care in European countries.
The first is concerned with the prevalence of diabetes and includes data from eight countries. Diabetes has been identified as a health indicator disease. The second is concerned with the incidence of chickenpox and the extent to which consulting data underestimates total incidence. Such data are needed when considering the desirability of introducing a vaccination programme. The third paper compares consulting patterns in England and Wales with those in Slovenia illustrating the importance of primary care to deliver certain types of health information, which are not available from any other source.
These presentations illustrate the degree of collaboration in Europe in the area of disease monitoring in general practice. The presentations incorporate data from eight countries and four are represented by the speakers at this symposium. The symposium will end with a brief summary of continuing developments with regard to health monitoring sponsored by the European Commission.
Abstract: Prevalence of diabetes known to general practitioners in selected European countries
The prevalence of diabetes has been proposed as a European community health indicator. Epidemiological surveys have suggested large differences in prevalence in European countries
Aims To estimate the prevalence of diabetes known to general practitioners in European sentinel practice surveillance networks.
Methods Routine monitoring of patients presenting with diabetes during a twelve month period (1999/2000) in established practice surveillance networks in eight European countries.
Results The prevalence of diabetes ranged between 20 and 25 per 1000 persons in six countries, were slightly less in Slovenia (16) and more in Belgium (32).Variations in prevalence were further reduced after age standardisation of the data.
This study has disclosed greater similarity of diabetes prevalence in European countries as measured in primary care than has been suggested by many epidemiological surveys often involving selected populations. General practice databases are particularly valuable in providing estimates of non-insulin dependent diabetes which accounts for more than 80% of prevalent cases of diabetes and for which there is evidence of increasing prevalence.
518 Prevalence of Diabetes known to General Practitioners in Selected European Countries