Type-2 diabetes is the most widespread kind. Its onset may be delayed or avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle (healthy nutrition, physical exercise and weight watching). Type-1 diabetes, on the other hand, cannot be prevented.

Measurement of blood glucose

Diabetes is diagnosed by measuring the glycaemia (level of glucose in the blood) or glycated haemoglobin (average blood glucose levels over a longer period) in a (fasting) blood sample. 

Type-1 diabetes generally occurs suddenly and the diagnosis is made rapidly.

Type-2 diabetes appears progressively and the diagnosis is often made by chance when a blood test is being done for a different problem or when complications begin to appear.


Sciensano measures the prevalence of diabetes in the population and monitors the quality of care given to diabetic patients with the aim of improving it.


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