Global Influence and Use of Danish Diabetes Data | Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy
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Global Influence and Use of Danish Diabetes Data

Researchers from Odense University Hospital and Swiss visiting professor working to help low- and middle-income countries get better type 1 diabetes treatment.

Denmark’s unique records of type 1 diabetes will now be used to help low- and middle-income countries improve treatment for their inhabitants suffering from the condition. In many countries, this will be an uphill climb. They have neither registries nor national insurance numbers, and many people only have information on paper. Consequently, researchers are starting by producing a white paper on the practice in Denmark.

The Danish anchor-men, Professor Kurt Højlund and Professor Anders Green, both from Steno Diabetes Center Odense, are now receiving expert assistance from Assistant Professor David Beran from the Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. His participation in the project has just been facilitated by a grant of DKK 244,500 from the Danish Diabetes Academy.

The team will start by outlining the burden, development, costs and quality of health services for type 1 diabetes in Denmark, accounting for how this type of data is utilised in planning and organising the efforts of the healthcare system. In phase two, they will deploy this Danish approach in the development of a roadmap with a view to planning and prioritising the efforts of the healthcare system in low- and middle-income countries. The ultimate goal is to establish collaboration and expand the network between Steno Diabetes Center in Odense and University of Geneva.

For the benefit of Denmark too
The researchers suggest that the project will also benefit Denmark in three different ways. Firstly, it will increase understanding of the burden of type 1 diabetes and of how data are used by planners and decision-makers in the healthcare system. Secondly, it will profile Denmark’s experiences by applying them in other contexts. Thirdly, the collaboration between the applicant and the Danish researchers involved, along with the other partners, will form the foundation for network development in an area of global importance, with Danish expertise as a key component.

“The project has global implications. It will shed light on the need for improved data in relation to the global agenda in the field of diabetes and the empirical basis for assessing quality improvements in healthcare efforts,” says Professor Kurt Højlund.

Facts about Health IT:
- Denmark is a global leader in the field of Health IT, including the collection of diabetes data. The sources of these data include the Danish National Patient Registry, the Danish National Prescription Registry, the Danish Register of Causes of Death and the Danish Central Person Registry. Data from these registries can be linked at the individual level via the social security number.

Facts about type 1 diabetes:
- The current assumption is that type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of the total number of diabetes cases.
- Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease, in which the beta cells are unable to produce insulin. The disease requires a wide range of health interventions to avoid the development of both acute and chronic complications and to reduce the number of cases of premature mortality.


  • David Beran, Assistant Professor, MSc, PhD, Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine and Member Faculty Diabetes Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, University of Geneva and Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland

  • Awarded a grant of DKK 244,500 from the Danish Diabetes Academy

  • Title of project: Improving our understanding of type 1 diabetes globally: Lessons from Denmark for Low- and Middle-Income Countries

  • Research institution in Denmark: Steno Diabetes Center Odense

  • Host in Denmark: Professor, Head of Research Kurt Højlund, MD, PhD, Steno Diabetes Center Odense


David Beran

Kurt Højlund
Tel: +45 25 32 06 48

Danish Diabetes Academy
Managing Director Tore Christiansen
Tel: +45 29 64 67 64