MIT DIABETESBLIV MEDLEM

Facts about diabetes in Denmark

  • Denmark has a population of approximately 5.8 million people
  • The number of Danes with diabetes has more than doubled from 2000-2016
  • 260,750 Danes are diagnosed with diabetes (of which 235,175 are diagnosed with type 2-diabetes)
  • By 2030, the number of Danes with diagnosed diabetes is projected to be 430,000
  • 60,000 Danes have undiagnosed type 2-diabetes
  • It is estimated that 300,000 Danes have a precursor of type 2-diabetes (prediabetes)
  • Diabetes costs the Danish society about DKK 86 million per day

Danes with diabetes

On January 1st, 2017 260,750 Danes were diagnosed with diabetes, which is equivalent to 4.4% of the Danish population.

Distribution by type of diabetes:

  • Type 1-diabetes accounts for approximately 10% of all diabetes diagnoses
  • Type 1½-diabetes accounts for approximately 10% of all diabetes diagnoses (is often included in type 2-diabetes)
  • Type 2-diabetes accounts for approximately 80% of all diabetes diagnoses

Gender distribution - total number with diabetes1:

  • Women make up 44% of all diabetes diagnoses
  • Men make up 56% of all diabetes diagnoses

Newly diagnosed

According to RUKS, around 15,750 new diabetes cases were diagnosed in Denmark in 2017 (incidence)1.

Undiagnosed diabetes

Calculations from Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen indicate that 60.000 Danes have undiagnosed type 2-diabetes. The calculations are primarily based on the results from the GESUS-study among 21,205 people from the Næstved-area between 2010 and 2014.

The calculations estimate that the amount of people with undiagnosed diabetes equals 25% of the people who are diagnosed with type 2-diabetes. The 60,000 undiagnosed are based upon the estimated prevalence of type 2-diabetes in 20112.

Prediabetes (precursors of type 2-diabetes)

Calculations from Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen indicate that 300,000 Danes are prediabetic. The calculations are primarily based on the results from the GESUS-study among 21,205 people from the Næstved-area between 2010 and 2014.

The calculations estimate that the amount of people with prediabetes equals 130 % of the people diagnosed with type 2-diabetes. The 300,000 prediabetics are based upon the estimated prevalence of type 2-diabetes in 20112. 30-40% of prediabetics will develop type 2-diabetes within 3.5 years3.

Heritability

The risk of getting type 1-diabetes is 2-5%, if 1 parent has type 1-diabetes. If both parents have type 1-diabetes the risk of developing type 1-diabetes is 20%. If no one in your family have diabetes, the risk of developing type 1- diabetes at some point is 0.4%.

Read more about heritability and type 1-diabetes (in Danish)

The risk of getting type 2-diabetes is 40%, if 1 parent has type 2-diabetes and 80% if both parents have type 2-diabetes. It is, however, not only your genes that determine if you develop type 2-diabetes. Various environmental factors also play an important role in the pathogenesis of type 2-diabetes. If no one in your family has type 2-diabetes, the risk of you developing type 2-diabetes is 10%.

Read more about heritability type 2-diabetes (in Danish)

Diabetes complications

Diabetes can cause damage to many parts of the body, especially the kidneys, heart, eyes and feet. The risk of diabetes complications increases with bad blood sugar regulation. Sequelae can significantly impair the quality of life.

  • Appx. one third of all diabetics have a cardiovascular disease (population prevalence is 14%)4
  • Between 1996 and 2008 4.5% of diabetics received laser treatment as a consequence of severe eye complications 4
  • 1.1% of diabetics have had one or more amputations between 1996 and 20084
  • 35% of people with diabetes already have complications at the time of the diagnosis5

Forecasts

Around 430,000 Danes will be diagnosed with type 2-diabetes in 20306

Diabetes across municipalities

There is an unequal prevalence of diabetics in the Danish municipalities – the highest prevalence of diabetes is in Sønderborg and Norddjurs – even after demographic adjustments4. 

The cost of diabetes

The annual expenses due to diabetes in Denmark amount to 31.8 billion DKK.

Loss of productivity equals DKK 13 billion (41%), care sector expenses equal DKK 6.4 billion, the cost of treatment in the hospital sector and at general practitioners equals DKK 5.5 billion and the medical expenses exceed DKK 1 billion.7


1. Register for Udvalgte Kroniske Sygdomme (RUKS), Sundhedsdatastyrelsen 2017 
2. Jørgensen ME, Ellervik C, Ekholm O, Johansen NB, Carstensen B (2018): Estimates of prediabetes and undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in Denmark: The end of an epidemic or a diagnostic artefact?
3. Rasmussen SS, Glümer C, Sandbæk A, Lauritzen T, Borch-Johnsen. K: Determinants
4. Tal på diabetes i kommunerne, Statens Serum Institut, 2013.
5. A. Gedebjerg, T.P. Almdal, K. Berencsi, J. Rungby m.fl. (2017): Prevalence of micro- and macrovascular diabetes complications at time of type 2 diabetes diagnosis and associated clinical characteristics: A cross-sectional baseline study of 6958 patients in the Danish DD2 cohort
6. Sygdomsudviklingen i Danmark fremskrevet til 2030. Statens Institut for Folkesundhed, 2017.
7. C. Sortsø, A. Green, P. B. Jensen og M. Emneus (2015): Societal costs of diabetes mellitus in Denmark, Diabetic Medicine

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