Incidence trend of type 2 diabetes from 2012 to 2021 in Germany: an analysis of health claims data of 11 million statutorily insured people

Carolin T. Lehner, Marian Eberl, Ewan Donnachie, Luana F. Tanaka, Gunther Schauberger, Florian Schederecker, Sebastian Himmler, Leonie Sundmacher, Stefanie J. Klug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis: The aim of the study is to describe the time trend of type 2 diabetes incidence in the largest state of Germany, Bavaria, from 2012 to 2021, and to compare the incidence rates during the pandemic period (2020–2021) to the pre-pandemic period (2012–2019). Methods: This secondary data analysis uses health claims data provided by the Bavarian Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KVB), covering approximately 11 million insurees, accounting for 85% of the total population of Bavaria, Germany. Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes cases in adults (≥20 years) coded as E11 (Diabetes mellitus, Type 2) or E14 (Unspecified diabetes mellitus) under ICD-10, German modification (ICD-10-GM) for the study period 2012 to 2021 were included. Annual and quarterly age-standardised incidence rates (ASIR) stratified by sex, age and region were calculated using the European standard population. Sex-specific crude incidence rates (CIR) were calculated using 10-year age groups. Regression analyses adjusted for time trends, seasonal effects, and pandemic effects were used to analyse the incidence trend and to assess the effect of the pandemic. Results: Overall, 745,861 new cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed between 2012 and 2021: 50.4% (376,193 cases) in women. The male/female ratio remained stable over the observation period, while the median age at diagnosis decreased from 61 to 58 years in men and from 66 years to 61 years in women. ASIR were consistently higher for men compared with women, with the yearly difference remaining stable over time (2012: 18%; 2021: 20%). An overall decreasing trend in ASIR was observed during the study period, with a strong decrease from 2012 to 2017, followed by a less pronounced decline from 2018 to 2021 for both sexes. For men, ASIR decreased from 1514 per 100,000 person-years in 2012 to 995 per 100,000 person-years in 2021 (4.6% average annual reduction), and for women from 1238 per 100,000 person-years in 2012 to 796 per 100,000 person-years in 2021 (4.8% average annual reduction). This downward trend was also observed for age groups above 50 years. Regression analyses showed no significant change in incidence rates during the pandemic period (2020 and 2021) compared with the pre-pandemic period. Conclusions/interpretation: For the first time, a 10-year incidence trend of type 2 diabetes is reported for Germany, showing a strong decline from 2012 to 2017, followed by a less pronounced decline from 2018 to 2021. The incidence trend of type 2 diabetes appears not to have been affected by the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite an overall increasing prevalence, the incidence is decreasing, potentially resulting from robust screening by family physicians, reducing the median age at diagnosis by 3 to 5 years. However, further investigation is needed to fully identify the reasons for the declining incidence trend. Continued incidence monitoring is necessary to identify the long-term trend and the potential effect of the pandemic on diagnoses of type 2 diabetes. Graphical Abstract: (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1050
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetologia
Volume67
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Health claims data
  • Incidence
  • Trends
  • Type 2 diabetes

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