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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


TULL, Eugene S.; BUTLER, Cleve; GUMBS, Leyale  and  WILLIAMS, Sherida. The use of capture-recapture methods to monitor diabetes in Dominica, West Indies. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.3, n.5, pp.303-307. ISSN 1680-5348.

The aim of this project was to evaluate the utility of capture-recapture (CR) estimation methodology, together with easily accessible sources of information, for monitoring the frequency of diabetes mellitus in a developing country. On the Caribbean island of Dominica, from July 1995 through July 1996, the names were collected of all individuals who were listed in at least one of three sources as having been diagnosed with diabetes during 1995. The sources were the membership list of the Dominica Diabetic Association, a register of patients in seven regional health centers, and clinic records of the Princess Margaret Hospital, which is the main hospital on the island. Capture-recapture techniques were used to estimate the number of Dominicans with diagnosed diabetes who were missed by all three sources of information and to evaluate dependencies among the sources. An ascertainment-corrected prevalence estimate of diagnosed diabetes was then calculated. The three sources identified a total of 1 945 different individuals. When this number was compared with the ascertainment -corrected estimate obtained with CR methodology (2 688), it appeared to represent only 72.3% of the true prevalence of diagnosed diabetes. Most of the under-ascertainment by the data sources was due to cases that were missed in the urban area of the island. This approach to disease monitoring may be useful for other Caribbean countries. However, standardized procedures for collecting and reporting prevalence and morbidity data are needed to maximize its accuracy and cost-effectiveness.

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