High mortality in Austria because of Diabetes


Austria ranks under the top three countries for diabetes mortality in Europe, with only Portugal and Hungary ranking higher.  A study in 2007 showed that 21.3 people per 100,000 would die from diabetes in Austria, which is significantly higher compared to the 6.2 people per 100,000 in the United KingdomThe International-Diabetes-Federation (IDF) also published data showing that the prevalence of diabetes in Austria 6.8% compared to its neighbor Germany that has a prevalence of 5.5%. 

EU Diabetes

In 2011 the IDF estimated health expenditure in EU member states to prevent diabetes and its complications to be $110 billion USD.  Austria has a comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation program that last 3 weeks, where patients learn about ways to better live with their condition. Such programs can be quite expensive and it also requires patients to take time from work, which would be acceptable if the long-term health economics benefits outweigh the short term costs.    Unfortunately, as shown in the European studies, even with such intensive rehabilitation programs, the results for patients in Austria are unacceptable and require the health ministry to change the interventions provided for patients in order to improve outcomes.

EU Diabetes2

Tele-monitoring diabetic patients could help patients be more adherent to their treatment plan and would provide GPs more insights into the progression of the condition for each patient.  Due to the fragmented healthcare system in Austria it is difficult to implement such a system as the payer of GP services, the sick fund, has little incentive to decrease long term costs as many of the long term costs are covered by the pension fund.   Consequently, there is a call for action for the overarching federal Social Security organization to align the different parties in Austria in order to implement new tools that will improve diabetic patient outcomes in the country.

EU Diabetes3

Austrian Institute of Technology




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