Virtual Diabetes Register (VDR)

Published online: 7 September 2021

Note: The VDR algorithm was updated in 2021 resulting in a small increase in the number of people estimated to have diabetes. It is important that the updated numbers are not compared with numbers derived using any previous version of the VDR. Any comparison may result in artificial and inaccurate trends.

Each year the New Zealand Ministry of Health releases national estimates of the prevalence of diabetes based on the VDR. The VDR is an important tool to monitor prevalence of diabetes and support national and local clinical quality improvements.

The VDR contains data about people suspected as having diabetes, identified through their use of diabetes related health services. The VDR uses an algorithm to identify these people in data extracted from hospital inpatient and outpatient, laboratory test type, and pharmaceutical dispensing data collections. The VDR is collated annually at the end of March. National and regional diabetes prevalence estimates are calculated based on the number of people on the VDR during the previous calendar year – in this case, during 2020. People suspected to have diabetes, who were alive and enrolled in a PHO at the 31 December of the VDR year, are included in the totals.

For further technical information about the VDR, see the Virtual Diabetes Register: Technical Guide.

Virtual Diabetes Register 2021 revision

The algorithm used to create the 2020 VDR now has two output methods.

  • Output 1 (traditional method): the diabetes prevalence estimates are based solely on the number of people alive and enrolled in a PHO, at 31 December of the VDR year. This output method is useful for the purposes of health service planning, for example. The latest public release version of the VDR is v687.
  • Output 2 (more inclusive version): the diabetes prevalence estimates are based on people who were alive and enrolled in a PHO at any point during the calendar year. This version can be used to:
    • better capture the population of people living with diabetes over the year of interest. This would be a useful output method when considering the cost and/or burden of disease over a year, for example.
    • include people that have died during the year. This allows more representative reporting of some outcomes, such as amputation rates for people with diabetes, and potentially other diabetes-related complications. 

The updated VDR algorithm allows for either method of diabetes prevalence calculation to be used.  The tables presented below contain data using output 1 of the VDR. If the user prefers to include people who were alive, those that have died, and PHO enrolled at any point during the year (output 2), this data is available to download below.

Virtual Diabetes Register 2017 historical revision

In 2016, the algorithm used to create the VDR was assessed against the Auckland TestSafe repository of actual glycaemic test results (for more information read the published article). As a result, improvements to the algorithm were made in early 2017 to create a revised version of the VDR.

Virtual Diabetes Register 2020 release

It is important to note that numbers produced by previous versions of the VDR algorithm are now obsolete and should not be used, nor compared to the numbers produced by the new VDR algorithm (v687). Please use the numbers published here or request updated numbers or datasets from [email protected].

Number of people on the Virtual Diabetes Register (VDR) by DHB of domicile, 2011–2020

DHB of domicile

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Auckland

18,438

19,562

20,781

21,922

22,875

23,375

23,847

24,730

26,432

28,224

Bay of Plenty

9,949

10,353

10,605

10,747

10,591

10,693

10,948

11,260

11,676

12,270

Canterbury

19,096

19,916

20,585

21,232

21,857

22,578

23,010

23,767

24,347

25,359

Capital & Coast

10,512

11,569

12,053

12,374

12,658

12,864

13,212

13,534

13,589

13,934

Counties Manukau

29,420

31,731

34,118

36,645

38,882

40,147

41,160

42,864

45,346

47,988

Hauora Tairāwhiti

2,899

3,078

3,212

3,334

3,417

3,358

3,320

3,326

3,552

3,838

Hawke's Bay

7,109

7,553

7,922

8,111

8,275

8,442

8,643

8,848

9,147

9,334

Hutt Valley

6,466

7,095

7,358

7,592

7,749

7,789

7,801

8,031

8,348

8,772

Lakes

4,506

4,788

4,940

5,197

5,425

5,549

5,673

5,719

5,926

6,153

MidCentral

7,671

8,080

8,250

8,429

8,643

8,740

8,961

9,217

9,603

10,024

Nelson Marlborough

5,521

5,662

5,772

5,909

5,975

6,029

6,068

6,147

6,272

6,517

Northland

9,191

9,926

10,730

11,118

11,295

11,401

11,482

11,546

11,780

12,025

South Canterbury

2,862

2,977

3,011

3,041

3,116

3,168

3,179

3,167

3,211

3,341

Southern

12,641

13,179

13,486

13,563

13,786

14,124

14,373

14,788

15,152

15,842

Taranaki

6,405

6,557

6,523

6,749

6,853

6,848

6,881

7,025

7,080

7,085

Waikato

17,565

18,334

19,183

20,015

20,840

21,382

22,204

23,037

23,879

24,977

Wairarapa

2,143

2,291

2,304

2,304

2,322

2,314

2,280

2,355

2,399

2,479

Waitematā

21,038

22,819

24,341

25,521

26,677

27,315

27,876

29,167

31,192

33,473

West Coast

1,229

1,255

1,250

1,233

1,199

1,363

1,442

1,519

1,579

1,642

Whanganui

3,327

3,502

3,555

3,632

3,722

3,839

3,907

4,060

4,236

4,432

Unknown/
Unassigned

292

267

246

215

197

175

142

117

102

94

Total

198,280

210,494

220,225

228,883

236,354

241,493

246,409

254,224

264,848

277,803

Source: VDR Dec 2011–2020 (v687)

Notes:

  1. Output method 1 has been used. That is, people that were alive and enrolled in a PHO at 31 December of the VDR year, have been included
  2. VDR2020 data was extracted on 11/06/2021
  3. VDR2011-2019 Data was re-extracted June 2021 using v687. The distribution of counts by DHB of domicile may be different to previously published data. The DHB of domicile is based on NHI information at time of extraction.
  4. Due to COVID-19, the complete set of data quality measures were unable to be run in 2020, increasing the risk of minor errors.
Number of people aged between 15–74 years on the Virtual Diabetes Register 2020, by DHB of domicile and ethnicity

DHB

Māori

Pacific people

Indian

European/ Other

VDR total (age 15–74)

VDR total (all ages)

Percentage of people in the 15-74 age group

Auckland

1,953

6,001

4,114

10,594

22,662

28,224

80.3%

Bay of Plenty

3,041

268

475

5,253

9,037

12,270

73.7%

Canterbury

1,935

1,130

695

15,290

19,050

25,359

75.1%

Capital & Coast

1,463

2,095

960

6,306

10,824

13,934

77.7%

Counties Manukau

5,756

15,734

6,151

12,844

40,485

47,988

84.4%

Hauora Tairāwhiti

1,742

117

27

1,130

3,016

3,838

76.7%

Hawke’s Bay

2,466

469

217

4,003

7,155

9,334

79.8%

Hutt

1,296

1,140

578

3,989

7,003

8,772

79.1%

Lakes

2,071

228

169

2,396

4,864

6,153

75.8%

MidCentral

1,593

378

243

5,381

7,595

10,024

71.0%

Nelson Marlborough

562

123

75

3,864

4,624

6,517

77.2%

Northland

4,438

234

150

4,458

9,280

12,025

71.4%

South Canterbury

204

54

44

2,084

2,386

3,341

73.3%

Southern

1,136

517

247

9,717

11,617

15,842

78.6%

Taranaki

1,161

99

127

3,819

5,206

7,085

73.5%

Waikato

5,602

1,123

1,224

11,649

19,598

24,977

78.5%

Wairarapa

405

64

43

1,283

1,795

2,479

72.4%

Waitematā

2,528

4,312

2,938

16,577

26,355

33,473

78.7%

West Coast

140

25

9

1,060

1,234

1,642

75.2%

Whanganui

1,079

114

63

2,143

3,399

4,432

76.7%

Unknown/
Unassigned

14

10

5

48

77

94

81.9%

Total

40,585

34,235

18,554

123,888

217,262

277,803

78.2%

Source: VDR Dec 2020 (v687)

Notes:

  1. Output method 1 has been used. That is, people that were alive and enrolled in a PHO at 31 December of the VDR year, have been included
  2. VDR2020 Data was extracted on 11/06/2021.
  3. Due to COVID-19, the complete set of data quality measures were unable to be run in 2020, increasing the risk of possible error.
  4. Ethnicity is prioritised in the order Māori, Pacific, Indian, European / Other.
  5. Percentage is calculated as the number of people in the 15-74 year age group, over the total number of people on the VDR.
Number of people in the Virtual Diabetes Register, by age-group and ethnicity, 2020

Age-group

Māori

Pacific people

Indian

European / Other

Total

00-04

29

17

1

70

117

05-09

111

38

13

325

487

10-14

218

99

26

690

1,033

15-19

395

173

33

982

1,583

20-24

737

410

83

1,379

2,609

25-29

1,208

869

511

2,282

4,870

30-34

1,702

1,427

1,398

3,874

8,401

35-39

2,132

1,861

1,488

4,805

10,286

40-44

2,614

2,561

1,460

5,373

12,008

45-49

3,954

3,580

1,760

8,492

17,786

50-54

5,212

4,892

2,026

12,414

24,544

55-59

6,457

5,436

2,401

16,967

31,261

60-64

6,396

5,074

2,789

20,355

34,614

65-69

5,555

4,512

2,613

22,528

35,208

70-74

4,223

3,440

1,992

24,437

34,092

75-79

2,498

2,229

1,357

19,839

25,923

80-84

1,486

1,206

779

15,150

18,621

85+

710

609

416

12,625

14,360

Total

45,637

38,433

21,146

172,587

277,803

Source: VDR Dec 2020 (v687)

Notes:

  1. Output method 1 has been used. That is, people that were alive and enrolled in a PHO at 31 December of the VDR year, have been included.
  2. VDR2020 Data was extracted on 11/06/2021.
  3. Due to COVID-19, the complete set of data quality measures were unable to be run in 2020, increasing the risk of possible error.
  4. Ethnicity is prioritised in the order Māori, Pacific, Indian, European / Other.
Number of people in the Virtual Diabetes Register, by DHB of domicile and ethnicity, 2020

DHB of domicile

Māori

Pacific people

Indian

European / Other

Total

Auckland

2,159

6,838

4,805

14,422

28,224

Bay of Plenty

3,496

293

522

7,959

12,270

Canterbury

2,190

1,252

749

21,168

25,359

Capital & Coast

1,638

2,422

1,135

8,739

13,934

Counties Manukau

6,333

17,551

7,059

17,045

47,988

Hauora Tairāwhiti

1,967

127

31

1,713

3,838

Hawke’s Bay

2,800

508

243

5,783

9,334

Hutt

1,422

1,282

665

5,403

8,772

Lakes

2,351

246

185

3,371

6,153

MidCentral

1,805

417

262

7,540

10,024

Nelson Marlborough

662

131

80

5,644

6,517

Northland

5,068

263

164

6,530

12,025

South Canterbury

233

59

46

3,003

3,341

Southern

1,298

571

262

13,711

15,842

Taranaki

1,311

106

135

5,533

7,085

Waikato

6,216

1,267

1,369

16,125

24,977

Wairarapa

475

71

43

1,890

2,479

Waitematā

2,808

4,867

3,305

22,493

33,473

West Coast

166

25

11

1,440

1,642

Whanganui

1,224

124

70

3,014

4,432

Unknown/Unassigned

15

13

5

61

94

Total

45,637

38,433

21,146

172,587

277,803

Source: VDR Dec 2020 (v687)

Note:

  1. Output method 1 has been used. That is, people that were alive and enrolled in a PHO at 31 December of the VDR year, have been included.
  2. VDR2020 Data was extracted on 11/06/2021.
  3. Due to COVID-19, the complete set of data quality measures were unable to be run in 2020, increasing the risk of possible error.
  4. Ethnicity is prioritised in the order Māori, Pacific, Indian, European / Other.

Virtual Diabetes Register web tool

A new Virtual Diabetes Register web tool is now available, including data from the 2020 update. This web tool presents the estimated numbers of people with diabetes, and the prevalence of diabetes per 1000 people, across different demographic groups in the population. The data presented in the web tool can be explored by year, ethnicity, sex, district health board of residence, deprivation quintile and age group.

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