Crude death rates show great discrepancies in diabetic mortality between industrialized and developing countries, the latter being less affected by diabetes mellitus. Nevertheless, when age is controlled, the gap becomes much narrower. For instance, the crude death rates in males by diabetes mellitus rise to 20.6 per 100,000 population in Belgium, and only 5.8 in Costa Rica (difference: 14.8). But after controlling age, the gap becomes only 2.8 (13.4 in Belgium and 10.6 in Costa Rica). As a matter of fact, the main difference between industrialized countries and those in the Third World is that diabetic mortality occurs at older ages in the former and at younger ages in the latter. Generally speaking, diabetic mortality is increasing in the developing countries, due most probably to improved data collection. In France, diabetic mortality was growing in the "départements" of the Nord Est and the Languedoc, and many rural areas were also experiencing a rising mortality rate. On the other hand, the rate was decreasing in Brittany and the Paris area.