Diabetes Becomes Fourth Most Frequent Cause of Death in Croatia

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, November 14, 2018 – Diabetes has become the fourth most frequent cause of death in Croatia, moving up in the ranking from fifth position last year, and the main reason for this is chronic complications arising from late detection of the disease, the Croatian Federation of Diabetes Associations said at a press conference in Zagreb on Wednesday, marking World Diabetes Day.

Last year, 2,331 Croatians died from the disease, and it is estimated that 40 percent of people with diabetes are not even aware of it. As a result, costs of diabetes treatment have increased by 2 billion kuna over the last ten years to 4.6 billion kuna annually. This is 19.8 percent of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund’s budget and 88 percent of the amount goes towards the treatment of complications, mostly those of a cardiovascular nature.

Both patients and specialists believe that urgent changes are necessary within the healthcare system to ensure better prevention, faster detection and treatment, and better treatment outcomes.

About 300,000 diabetes patients are currently registered in Croatia, but their actual number is believed to be about 500,000.

All medicines for diabetes treatment are available in Croatia, and new treatment guidelines should also improve the quality of treatment. The biggest problem is the late detection of the disease, because by the time of diagnosis most patients have already developed certain complications, the most frequent being a stroke and a heart attack.

“The number of these patients in Croatia is growing steadily. Right now more than nine percent of the adult population have diabetes, compared to six percent ten years ago. The fact that the death rate is growing shows that we are unsuccessful in treatment,” general practitioner Tereza Šarić said.

She presented the results of a survey conducted among diabetes patients, according to which 62 percent of patients had undergone only one or no examinations at all in the past year, and half of them had not taken any of the basic tests. A third did not receive any information about the disease and a fifth said they knew nothing about cardiovascular complications, although half of the patients had such complications.

For more on Croatia’s healthcare sector, click here.


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