Trends in diabetes incidence in Austria 2013–2017
This study aims to quantify whether age and sex groups in Austrian regions are equally affected by the rise of type 2 diabetes. Population-wide medical claims data was obtained for citizens in Austria aged above 50 year, who received antihyperglycemic treatments or underwent HbA1c monitoring between 2012 and 2017.
Diabetes incidence was measured using an epidemiological diabetes progression model accounting for patients who discontinued antihyperglycemic therapy; the erratic group. Out of 746,184 patients, 268,680 (140,960 females) discontinued their treatment and/or monitoring for at least one year. Without adjusting for such erratic patients, incidence rates increase from 2013 to 2017 (females: from 0·5% to 1·1%, males: 0·5% to 1·2%), whereas they decrease in all groups after adjustments (females: − 0·3% to − 0·5%, males: − 0·4% to − 0·5%).
Higher mortality was observed in the erratic group compared to patients on continued antihyperglycemic therapy (mean difference 12% and 14% for females and males, respectively). In summary, incidence strongly depends on age, sex and place of residency. One out of three patients with diabetes in Austria discontinued antihyperglycemic treatment or glycemic monitoring for at least one year.
This newly identified subgroup raises concern regarding adherence and continuous monitoring of diabetes care and demands further evaluation.