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Diabetes prevalence and metabolic risk profile in an unselected population visiting pharmacies in Switzerland

Authors Rey, Thoenes, Fimmers R, Meier, Bramlage P

Received 12 July 2012

Accepted for publication 28 August 2012

Published 21 September 2012 Volume 2012:8 Pages 541—547


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Alexandre Rey,1 Martin Thoenes,1,2 Rolf Fimmers,3 Christoph A Meier,4 Peter Bramlage5

1Sanofi Aventis, Medical Department, Meyrin, Switzerland; 2Institute for Clinical Pharmacology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University Dresden, Germany; 3Institut für Medizinische Biometrie, Informatik und Epidemiologie, Universität Bonn, Germany; 4Klinik für Innere Medizin, Stadtspital Triemli, Zürich, Switzerland; 5Institut für Pharmakologie und präventive Medizin, Mahlow, Germany

Background: Diabetes represents one of the major health challenges in Switzerland, and early diagnosis and treatment is mandatory to prevent or delay diabetes-related morbidity and mortality. For the purpose of identifying affected individuals, early screening in pharmacies is a valuable option. In this survey, we aimed to determine blood glucose and metabolic control in an unselected population of individuals visiting Swiss pharmacies.
Methods: The subjects responded to a short questionnaire and underwent a single capillary blood glucose test for screening purposes. They were classified as normal, indeterminate, impaired fasting glucose, and diabetes according to predefined blood glucose levels.
Results: A total of 3135 individuals (mean age 56 years) in 18 cantons were screened in November 2010; of these, 4.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.5–4.9) had previously been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes was newly diagnosed in 1.9% (95% CI 1.5–2.4), and 11.5% (95% CI 10.4–12.6) had impaired fasting glucose. Subjects with impaired glucose control had an increased body mass index, a frequent family history of diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, and a low level of physical activity. Prevalence of impaired glucose control was different between the French/Italian-speaking part of Switzerland (new diabetes 4.9%; impaired fasting glucose 12.7%) and the German-speaking part (new diabetes 1.9%; impaired fasting glucose 10.3%).
Conclusion: Our study shows a 6.1% prevalence of diabetes, of which about a third (1.9%) was previously undiagnosed, and 11.5% had impaired fasting glucose. Therefore, screening initiatives in pharmacies may be suitable for detecting people with undiagnosed diabetes.

Keywords: diabetes, pharmacy, epidemiology, screening

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