Objective: To describe the use and level of HbA1c in a large unselected Type 2 diabetic population in Denmark. In addition, to describe the characteristics of the patients and the general practitioners in relation to the monitoring of HbA1c.
Design: Data were collected from public data files for the period January 1993 to December 1997.
Setting: The County of Vejle with a background population of 342,597 citizens, 303,250 of whom were listed with participating general practitioners.
Patients: The Type 2 diabetic population alive and resident in the county on 1 January 1997.
Results: In a population of 4438 Type 2 diabetics, 73% had a minimum of one annual HbA1c measurement in 1997. No HbA1c measurement was associated with a long history of diabetes, diet treatment or old age. Poor glycaemic regulation was found in 65% of the Type 2 diabetics in 1997. Poor glycaemic regulation was associated with tablet or insulin treatment, age under 70 years and long history of diabetes. The interpractice variation was huge.
Conclusion: The quality of HbA1c monitoring of Type 2 diabetics needs to be improved. Possibilities for improvement seem to be present.