Introduction In Germany, regional data on the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are lacking for use in healthcare planning. We analysed regional differences in the prevalence of T2DM and treatment with antidiabetic agents.
Methods Data from five regional population-based studies and the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey (GNHIES98) conducted between 1997 and 2006 were analysed. Estimates of self-reported diabetes, treatment, and onset of diabetes were compared. T2DM prevalence (95% CI) for the five regional studies was directly standardised to the German adult population (31 December 2007).
Results From 11 688 participants aged 45–74 years, 1008 had prevalent T2DM, corresponding to a prevalence of 8.6% (8.1%–9.1%). For the GNHIES98 a prevalence of 8.2% (7.3%–9.2%) was estimated. Prevalence was higher in men (9.7%; 8.9%–10.4%) than in women (7.6%; 6.9%–8.3%). The age-standardised regional prevalence was highest in the East with 12.0% (10.3%–13.7%) and lowest in the South with 5.8% (4.9%–6.7%). The mean age of onset of T2DM was lower in Northeast (53+9SD) than in West-Germany (57+10SD). Treatment with oral antidiabetic agents was more frequently reported in the South (56.9%) than in the Northeast (46.0%), whereas treatment with insulin alone was more frequently reported in the Northeast (21.6%) than in the South (16.4%).
Conclusion The prevalence of T2DM showed a Northeast and Southwest gradient within Germany with the highest standardised prevalence in the East, which is in accordance with regional differences in the distribution of risk factors for T2DM. Furthermore, the treatment with antidiabetic agents showed regional differences.
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