Prevalence, awareness and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Switzerland: the CoLaus study

Diabet Med. 2012 Feb;29(2):190-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2011.03422.x.


Aims: To assess the prevalence, awareness and treatment levels of Type 2 diabetes in a Swiss city.

Methods: Population-based cross-sectional study of 6181 subjects (3246 women) aged 35-75 years living in Lausanne, Switzerland. Type 2 diabetes was defined as fasting plasma glucose ≥ 7 mmol/l and/or oral hypoglycaemic treatment and/or insulin.

Results: Total prevalence of Type 2 diabetes was 6.3% (95% confidence interval: 5.7-7.0%), higher in men (9.1%) than in women (3.8%, P < 0.001) and increased with age. Two-thirds (65.3%; 60.4-70.0%) of participants with Type 2 diabetes were aware of their status and among those aware 86.0% (81.5-90.3%) were treated. Treatment was more frequent in men (91.3%) than in women (75.9%, P < 0.001). Two-thirds of those treated for Type 2 diabetes were on monotherapy. Biguanides were prescribed in 65.0% of Type 2 diabetes patients and represented 48% of all antidiabetic drugs. Multivariable analysis showed male gender, increasing age, waist or BMI to be positively associated with prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, while leisure-time physical activity and alcohol consumption were negatively associated. Among participants presenting with Type 2 diabetes, increasing age was positively associated with awareness of Type 2 diabetes. Among subjects diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, male gender and increasing age were positively associated with treatment.

Conclusion: Prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Switzerland is estimated to be between 5.7% and 7.0%. Two-thirds of patients with Type 2 diabetes are aware of their status, and over three quarters of those aware are treated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland / epidemiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents