Out Now: Long-awaited White Book on Type 1 Diabetes in Denmark is Important for (at Least) Three Reasons

Posted on 25.09.2023

Visiting Professor David Beran has now finished his white book that compiles existing data on type 1 diabetes in Denmark. Together with the just published article ”Type 1 Diabetes and Health Information Systems: Lessons from Denmark” in the European Medical Journal, the hope is that the white book will be used as a roadmap to improve data on diabetes, and thereby diabetes care, on a global scale.

David Beran is an Assistant Professor at the University of Geneva. The paper is part of David Beran’s Visiting Professorship grant by the Danish Diabetes Academy (now Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy). Professors Kurt Højlund and Anders Green from Steno Diabetes Center Odense are co-authors on the white book and the article. Kurt Højlund is also Principal Investigator on the project.

The White Book is Important News for (at Least) Three Reasons:

1. The white book compiles existing data on type 1 diabetes in Denmark in one document.

The white book describes what is known about type 1 diabetes in Denmark from different angles, including epidemiology, causes of death, use of health system resources, costs, complications, quality of care and policy environment, etc. The second aim is to learn how this data is used by decision makers for policies and health systems responses.

– We want to show what is known and what is unknown about type 1 diabetes in Denmark. Existing data and publications in Denmark do not provide a full picture, and often this information is not presented together. The idea is to have one document that presents all present data on type 1 diabetes in Denmark, says David Beran in a previous interview about the white book.

What is a white book?
A white paper is a report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue. A white paper is the first document researchers should read to better understand a core concept, idea or topic.

2. Globally, Denmark can be seen as a pioneering country in the collection of health-related data including data for diabetes. Lessons learned from Denmark can be used in other settings.

– The article published in the European Journal of Medicine is a summary of the key lessons learnt from the White Book on how the Danish Diabetes Environment works. This paper presents how different facilitators and challenges are present in Denmark with regards to data collection, data aggregation, use of data, communication of data and results, as well as some intangible factors which impact all of these. From Denmark, other countries can learn the importance in the conception of all elements around data including its collection, aggregation, use, and communication, says David Beran about the connection between the white book and the article.

3. By combining the first two elements, the white book can be used as a Roadmap to improve our knowledge and treatment of type 1 diabetes in low- and middle-income countries.

From the beginning, David Beran’s project has been to improve the understanding of type 1 diabetes globally, especially for low- and middle-income countries, all through lessons taken from Denmark’s data practices.

– Any country without structured diabetes registries like Denmark needs this plan. This could be countries like Switzerland where I am from, or it could be low- and middle-income countries. The main concept of the roadmap is to provide an “easy” guide for countries to improve their data collection, analysis, and presentation for type 1 diabetes, says David Beran in the interview from 23 February 2023.

David Beran with co-author Anders Green from Steno Diabetes Center Odense. Credit: Jakob Haugaard

Read the White Book and the Article

September 21, 2023; issue of European Medical Journal Diabet entitled “Type 1 Diabetes and Health Information Systems: Lessons from Denmark”; DOI/10.33590/emjdiabet/10300830. 

August 15, 2023; BERAN, David Henri, GREEN, Anders, HØJLUND, Kurt. White Book on type 1 Diabetes in Denmark.

About the Project

Grant: Visiting Professorship from Danish Diabetes Academy

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

Principal Investigator:  Kurt Højlund, Research Chief and Professor, Steno Diabetes Center Odense

Contact Information

David Beran
Assistant Professor, Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva and Geneva University Hospitals

E-mail: David.Beran@unige.ch

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