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Regional differences in the incidence of self-reported type 2 diabetes in Germany: results from five population-based studies in Germany (DIAB-CORE Consortium)
  1. Sabine Schipf1,
  2. Till Ittermann1,
  3. Teresa Tamayo2,
  4. Rolf Holle3,
  5. Michaela Schunk3,
  6. Werner Maier3,
  7. Christine Meisinger4,5,
  8. Barbara Thorand4,5,
  9. Alexander Kluttig6,
  10. Karin Halina Greiser6,7,
  11. Klaus Berger8,
  12. Grit Müller8,
  13. Susanne Moebus9,
  14. Uta Slomiany9,
  15. Andrea Icks2,10,
  16. Wolfgang Rathmann2,
  17. Henry Völzke1,11
  1. 1Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany
  2. 2Institute of Biometrics and Epidemiology, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany
  3. 3Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Institute of Health Economics and Health Care Management, Neuherberg, Germany
  4. 4Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Institute of Epidemiology II, Neuherberg, Germany
  5. 5German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Neuherberg, Germany
  6. 6Institute of Medical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Informatics, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle(Saale), Germany
  7. 7Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
  8. 8Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany
  9. 9Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital of Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  10. 10Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
  11. 11German Center of Cardiovascular Research, Greifswald, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Sabine Schipf, Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Walther Rathenau Str. 48, Greifswald D-17487, Germany; sabine.schipf{at}


Background Population-based data are paramount to investigate the long-term course of diabetes, for planning in healthcare and to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of primary prevention. We analysed regional differences in the incidence of self-reported type 2 diabetes mellitus in Germany.

Methods Data of participants (baseline age 45–74 years) from five regional population-based studies conducted between 1997 and 2010 were included (mean follow-up 2.2–7.1 years). The incidence of self-reported type 2 diabetes mellitus at follow-up was compared. The incidence rates per 1000 person-years (95% CI) and the cumulative incidence (95% CI) from regional studies were directly standardised to the German population (31 December 2007) and weighted by inverse probability weights for losses to follow-up.

Results Of 8787 participants, 521 (5.9%) developed type 2 diabetes mellitus corresponding to an incidence rate of 11.8/1000 person-years (95% CI 10.8 to 12.9). The regional incidence was highest in the East and lowest in the South of Germany with 16.9 (95% CI 13.3 to 21.8) vs 9.3 (95% CI 7.4 to 11.1)/1000 person-years, respectively. The incidence increased with age and was higher in men than in women.

Conclusions The incidence of self-reported type 2 diabetes mellitus shows regional differences within Germany. Prevention measures need to consider sex-specific differences and probably can be more efficiently introduced toward those regions in need.

  • Epidemiology of diabetes
  • Cohort studies
  • Epidemiological methods

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