National register to make it easier to combat diabetes


An estimated 900,000 people in the Czech Republic suffer from diabetes. What is even more alarming, the incidence of diabetes keeps increasing especially among younger people around the age of 30. This week, the Czech Diabetes Association announced its plan to launch a National Diabetes Register that would help improve the situation, allowing doctors to have a better overview of patients suffering from diabetes and prescribe medicine more effectively.

Over the past 20 years, the number of patients with diabetes in the Czech Republic increased by an alarming 68 percent. Every day, about 150 new patients are diagnosed with the illness, a condition caused primarily by stress and poor diet. According to the Czech Medical Association, some nine percent of the Czech population are treated for diabetes and an estimated 2.5 percent have the disease but have not been diagnosed yet.

Milan Kvapil, the chairman of the Czech Diabetes Association, outlined the main aim of the National Diabetes Register to Czech Radio:

“The register will help describe the occurrence of diabetes as well as the frequency of complications resulting from diabetes. Once we have such information, we can analyse it, because we already know that the incidence of the illness is not the same in all parts of the Czech Republic. Only then can we take certain measures to improve the results of diabetes treatment in the Czech Republic, which are already among the best in the world.”

One of the dangers is that the patients can develop diabetes over the years without noticing any symptoms. However, if untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health complications.

According to the most recent data, over 100,600 Czech patients with diabetes suffer from related health complications. Nearly 100,000 have chronic kidney disease and 40,000 suffer from peripheral neuropathy, which can eventually lead to lower leg amputation. Patients with diabetes also have a five times greater chance of suffering a heart attack.

Milan Kvapil,  photo: archive of Motol University Hospital
According to Milan Kvapil, a national database will enable both doctors and insurance companies a better access to available data:

“The anonymous register will store the data of every diabetes case, including details about the course of the illness, the treatment and complications. If we collect the data for the whole of the country, it would show us the incidence of complications and point out the soft spots in treatment.

“The register should run automatically. The most important data are already owned by insurance companies, and they need to be put together with the data from labs, to create a reliable register. The biggest advantage of our concept is the fact that it can run without any administrative burden, and it has been approved by the Office for Personal Data Protection.”

If everything goes according to plan, the National Register of Patients with Diabetes should be launched by mid-2017.