Prevalence, incidence and mortality of diagnosed diabetes: evidence from an Italian population-based study

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Abstract

Aims

To describe trends in diagnosed diabetes prevalence, incidence and mortality from 2000 to 2007 in the most heavily populated Italian region.

Methods

We examined the prevalence and incidence rates of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and yearly mortality rates among individuals with diabetes from 2000 to 2007 using an administrative health database of prescription, disease-specific exemption and hospitalization records of more than 9 million inhabitants of Lombardy. Age- and sex-specific rates were calculated and temporal trends for subjects aged ≥ 30 years were analysed.

Results

The crude point diabetes prevalence rose from 3.0% in 2000 to 4.2% in 2007, a 40% increase. The incidence remained stable during the study period with a rate of 4/1000 per year. Overall mortality declined from 43.2/1000 in 2001 to 40.3/1000 in 2007 (6.7% decrease) at a rate slightly higher than that of the general population (4.8% decrease). Our projection in subjects aged ≥ 30 years indicates that the prevalence will rise continuously over the next years, reaching 11.1% in 2030.

Conclusions

The prevalence of diabetes increased substantially between 2000 and 2007, mainly because there are more patients with a new diagnosis each year than those who die. The increase observed by 2007 almost reached the World Health Organization prediction for 2030. Our analyses suggest that the increase will continue over the next few decades. These data are important for defining the burden of diabetes in the near future, to help in planning health services and ensure proper allocation of resources.

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