Background: The prevalence of diabetes is increasing. Good diabetes care reduces macro and microvascular complications. Quality of care was assessed against predefined review criteria based on key recommendations in national guidelines
Material and methods: A cross-sectional study from four geographical areas in Norway, with electronic identification of all patients with diabetes mellitus and extraction of data from electronic patient records. All data were manually validated.
Results: 6892 patients with diabetes were identified, 5817 were cared for by the GPs and included in the study. 354 (6.0%) were classified as having type 1 diabetes and 5463 (94.0%) as type 2. For patients with type 1 mean Hb A1c was 7.8% and mean blood pressure 129/76 mm Hg; for type 2 the results were 7.1% and 139/79 mmHg. Among patients with type 2 diabetes and known cardiovascular disease, 69.7% were treated with statins and 60.6% with acetylsalicylic acid. About 90% of the study population had measured Hb A1c , blood pressure and lipids annually. 71% of patients with type 2 diabetes were referred to eye examination, smoking habits and weight were recorded in 57 and 54 % and urine albumin in 40% of the patients.
Interpretation: The quality of care had improved substantially in 2005 from five and 10 years ago (when similar studies were performed), although 80 % of patients did not reach the combined treatment targets for Hb A1c , systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol.