Sentinel health events surveillance in diabetes. Deaths among persons under age 45 with diabetes

J Clin Epidemiol. 1988;41(10):999-1006. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(88)90039-x.


The pilot study for a sentinel health events surveillance system for deaths among persons under age 45 with diabetes was conducted in six states in 1984 and 1985. Two hundred and thirty-three events were identified. Information from death certificates, physicians, and families revealed that 22% died from acute complications of diabetes and 53% from chronic complications. Blood pressure measurement and urinalysis testing had been performed in the last year for almost all of the decedents, but other preventive practices were reported less frequently. Hypertension was present in 57% and of those, was not controlled in 73%. Forty-four percent were cigarette smokers at the time of death. Agreement between physicians and families was generally higher for clinical conditions than for care practices. This surveillance system appears to yield information about the health care of persons with diabetes not readily available from other sources, although modifications may be necessary before implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Death Certificates
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Population Surveillance
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • United States