OBJECTIVE: To assess the epidemiologic and economic burden of diabetes mellitus (DM) from a longitudinal population-based study.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Lombardy Region includes 9.9 million individuals. Its DM population was identified through a data warehouse (DENALI), which matches with a probabilistic linkage demographic, clinical and economic data of different Healthcare Administrative databases. All individuals, who, during the year 2000 had an hospital discharge with a IDC-9 CM code 250.XX, and/or two consecutive prescriptions of drugs for diabetes (ATC code A10XXXX) within one year, and/or an exemption from co-payment healthcare costs specific for DM, were selected and followed up to 9 years. We calculated prevalence, mortality and healthcare costs (hospitalizations, drugs and outpatient examinations/visits) from the National Health Service's perspective.
RESULTS: We identified 312,223 eligible subjects. The study population (51% male) had a mean age of 66 (from 0.03 to 105.12) years at the index date. Prevalence ranged from 0.4% among subjects aged ≤45 years to 10.1% among those >85 years old. Overall 43.4 deaths per 1,000 patients per year were estimated, significantly (p
CONCLUSIONS: Merging different administrative databases can provide with many data from large populations observed for long time periods. DENALI shows to be an efficient instrument to obtain accurate estimates of burden of diseases such as diabetes mellitus.
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