Background: The French health insurance has carried out a survey to estimate the medical and social prevalence for the 30 long-lasting affections. This estimation was extended to the instantaneous morbidity prevalence for some of these diseases.
Methods: The random sampling represented 2% of the 3,337,795 patients who were affected by long-lasting affections (ALD 30). To codify the diagnoses, the "médecin conseil" proceeded by different ways: either by examining the patient, by consulting the practicing physician (69% of the patients), or by consulting the individual medical file. Morbidity prevalence estimates were limited to some diseases: those for which correcting coefficients were available or those for which the legislation on long-lasting affections were applied in patients not likely to come under "invalidity".
Results: In November 1994, among the patients who came under "ALD 30", 39% were affected with cardio-vascular diseases, about 15% were affected with psychiatric diseases, and a similar proportion presented cancer or diabetes. The estimation of the insulin-dependent diabetes morbidity prevalence was 4.1/1000, non insulin-dependent diabetes 18/1000, progressive rheumatoid polyarthritis 2.8/1000, Parkinson disease 2.0/1000, and multiple sclerosis 0.4/1000. This survey also estimated the prevalence of seven other affections.
Conclusions: This survey provides morbidity prevalence rates estimated on the basis of a representative sample of a sub-population including 70% of the French population. Most results are close to those which have been already published, but some of them appear quite new.