Preventable hospitalizations due to complications of diabetes mellitus (DM), represented by the related prevention quality indicators (PQI), are ambulatory care-sensitive conditions that can be prevented and controlled through effective primary health care (PHC) treatment. It is important to reduce mortality and promote the quality of life to diabetic patients in regions with higher hospitalization rates. The study aims to analyze the results of the DM age-sex-adjusted PQI, by groups of health centers (ACES), distributed in the Portuguese territory. The most representative PQI at a national level were identified, and the trends were mapped and analyzed. Also, it presents the ACES with the highest age-adjusted rates of avoidable hospitalizations for DM. The absolute number of preventable hospitalizations for all DM complications in Portugal has decreased by 20%, thus passing from the rate of 79 in 2016 to 65.2/100,000 inhabitants in 2017. Despite the improvement in results for PQI 03, 20 of 48 ACES that were above the national 2017 median rate in 2016, achieved better results the following year, and for the overall preventable diabetes hospitalizations (PQI 93) only 11 out 39, revealing the need for further studies and PHC actions to improve the diabetic quality of life.
Keywords: avoidable admissions; diabetes mellitus; geographic information system; prevention quality indicators; public health.