Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Diabetes registers: a grassroots approach.

British Medical Journal 1993; 307 doi: (Published 23 October 1993) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1993;307:1046
  1. A J Howitt,
  2. N A Cheales
  1. Tunbridge Wells Audit Group, Kent Medical Audit Advisory Group, Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells.


    OBJECTIVES--To compile a register of diabetic patients within the catchment area of a district general hospital and evaluate the characteristics of the population using aggregated data from a general practice audit. DESIGN--Cross sectional study. Practices identified all known diabetics and completed a questionnaire from information in each patient's medical record. SETTING--Practices affiliated to a district audit group in south east England. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Number of participating practices; prevalence of diabetes and its complications; and sex distribution of patients, age at diagnosis and review, treatment, and metabolic control. Comparisons with similar data from other studies. RESULTS--41 out of 43 practices participated, and 2574 diabetic patients were identified (prevalence 1.18%). 52.4% of patients were male. The mean age was 61.6 years. 32% of patients were treated with insulin, 51.5% with oral hypoglycaemic agents, 16.5% with diet alone. The mean random blood glucose concentration was 10.4 mmol/l and glycosylated haemoglobin 10.1%. 8% had proteinuria, 7% a history of myocardial infarction, 5% a history of stroke, and 2% a diabetes related amputation. These proportions were not significantly different from those found in studies performed by different methods in Poole, Islington, Powys, Trowbridge, and Southall. CONCLUSION--It is feasible to compile a register of diabetic patients in a district and evaluate their characteristics by using only general practice sources.