Comparison of anti-diabetic drug prescribing in children and adolescents in seven European countries

Antje Neubert, Yingfen Hsia, Lolkje T W de Jong-van den Berg, Katrin Janhsen, Gerd Glaeske, Kari Furu, Helle Kieler, Mette Nørgaard, Antonio Clavenna, Ian C K Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of diabetes in children across seven European countries, when using prescribing of anti-diabetics as a proxy for diabetes. A secondary aim was to assess the potential for collaboration between countries using different databases in diabetes research. Methods: Data were obtained from population-based clinical databases in seven European countries. The study population comprised children aged 0-18 years. Prescriptions were categorized using the Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification. The one-year user prevalence in 2008 was calculated for each country and stratified by age and sex. Results: We studied a total of 5.8 million children and adolescents. The prevalence of insulin prescribing varied between 1.1 and 3.5 per 1000 population, being highest in Sweden and lowest in Italy. In all countries, novel insulin analogues were the most commonly used insulins. The prevalence of oral anti-diabetic prescribing ranged from 0.08 per 1000 individuals in Sweden and Germany to 0.21 per 1000 population in the UK. Overall, the absolute number of oral anti-diabetic users was very low. Conclusion: This study shows that there is a varying frequency of type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents across Europe. We also demonstrated that it is possible to obtain similar information from different clinical databases within Europe, which would allow continuous monitoring of type 1 diabetes. Owing to the lack of indications in most of the databases, this approach is less suitable for type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-977
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Insulin
  • Oral anti-diabetics
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

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