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Diabetes Surveillance in Germany

Detailled information and news on Diabetes Surveillance at the Robert Koch Institute as well as results and interactive charts on diabetes in Germany can be found on the English website of National Diabetes Surveillance.


Project lead: Dr. Christa Scheidt-Nave, Dr. Thomas Ziese

Project coordination: Dr. Christin Heidemann, Dr. Maike Buchmann, Dr. Lukas Reitzle

Contact: diabsurv[at]

The research project to develop diabetes surveillance at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Health. The project aims to develop periodic indicator-based diabetes health reporting to provide prompt and action-oriented information for health policy, health research, health care and public health. This is to be done by operationalising the links between data from RKI health monitoring and other relevant sources at the federal and regional levels. The current project phase aims to expand the surveillance from diabetes to other non-communicable diseases (NCD) within the framework of an intended overarching public health surveillance at the RKI.

The first four-year project phase, ‘Developing National Diabetes Surveillance at the Robert Koch Institute’, aims to achieve the following milestones:

  1. Develop a conceptual framework and define core indicators to measure risk factors, frequency of diabetes, the consequences of the illness and quality of care
  2. Evaluate the available data sources, identify data gaps and assess the integration of secondary data for relevant indicators
  3. Coordinate on the content and format of a periodic national diabetes report that takes international best practices into account
  4. Draw up a prototype National Diabetes Report
  5. Assess how National Diabetes Surveillance can be applied to the surveillance of other chronic diseases

The two-year project phase that follows, ‘Continuation of ongoing project-related funding for diabetes surveillance’, is intended to achieve the following milestones:

  1. Establish and further develop an indicator-based time series through the recurring use and supplementation of the data integrated into the first project phase
  2. Adapt and complement the indicator set in accordance with changing requirements
  3. Strengthen diabetes reporting and ensure that it is geared towards all phases of life and vulnerable target groups
  4. Further link the regionalised results from diabetes surveillance to those from health reporting undertaken at the federal state level
  5. Ensure that the results are made available in a user-friendly and action-oriented manner

The following one-and-a-half-year project phase ‘Extension of the project Diabetes Surveillance with expansion to an NCD Surveillance’ comprised the following milestones:

  1. Update of indicator-based time series and analysis of selected indicators for people with a migration background
  2. Inventory of national/international NCD surveillance systems and definition of a core set of indicators for selected additional NCD
  3. Pilot evaluations on cause-specific mortality and premature mortality and data linkage of secondary data with data on social and physical environment
  4. Update of diabetes surveillance formats
  5. Concept development for outcome dissemination of a targeted NCD surveillance

For the current one-and-a-half-year project phase ‘Extension of the project Diabetes Surveillance with expansion to an NCD Surveillance - Continuation", the following milestone are planned:

  1. Continuation of diabetes surveillance with expansion to include central indicators of NCD surveillance
  2. Piloting of projections on frequencies of selected NCD using diabetes as an example
  3. Development of the methodology of a high-frequency surveillance for the process of RKI data collection
  4. Further development of the dissemination of results as a basis for a planned ‘Health Information System’

In the process of building a higher-level surveillance of noncommunicable diseases, the work of diabetes surveillance will be expanded to include, among other things, mental health surveillance. The first three phases of the project were overseen by an interdisciplinary scientific advisory board. For the current project phase, a continuation of the exchange with experts of the advisory board is planned. In order to ensure that milestones set out above are achieved, the project works with other actors from health policy and public health at the federal and state levels, the Federal Centre for Health Education, professional medical associations and national and international scientific cooperation partners from public health. Furthermore, methodological cooperation projects are also provided with targeted support.

Duration / Status:

  • First project phase: December 2015 until December 2019
  • Second project phase: until December 2021
  • Third project phase: until June 2023
  • Fourth project phase: until December 2024

Data source(s): Studies by RKI health monitoring (GNHIES98, DEGS, GEDA, KiGGS, Add-on Surveys) as well as relevant data sources at the federal and regional level

Type of project: Research project

Commissioned and financed by: The Federal Ministry of Health

Cooperation partners: Data holders of official statistics, disease registers and procedure data

Date: 19.09.2023