Health policies and data

European Diabetes Leadership Forum (EDLF), Copenhagen, 25-26 April 2012


Around 800 delegates including health ministers, leading researchers and private-sector partners gathered at the European Diabetes Leadership Forum (EDLF) in Copenhagen on 25-26 April 2012.

The meeting, hosted by the OECD and the Danish Diabetes Association and supported by Novo Nordisk, was backed by the Danish Royal House and the Danish Ministry of Health. As one of the events taking place during the Danish Presidency of the European Union, the EDLF followed the Informal EU Health Ministers meeting which took place on 23-24 April in Horsens.

The high-level segment of the Forum on April 25 featured sessions on fighting chronic diseases, measuring and controlling the burden of diabetes, and the health-sector response to diabetes. Leading researchers and professionals discussed interesting new evidence ranging from the economic impact of diabetes to cost-effectiveness of prevention and evidence on screening on a second scientific day, on April 26.

Several high-level speakers attended the EDLF – the Danish Prime Minister and Health Minister, the UK Minister of State for Care Services, the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the OECD Deputy Secretary-General Yves Leterme and WHO Regional Office Director Zsuzsanna Jakab, to mention but a few.

The conference offered a unique opportunity to share views on the importance of tackling diabetes, and learn from best practices across the public and private sectors. Participants discussed and commented upon the Copenhagen Roadmap ( which presents practical and concrete initiatives to improve diabetes prevention, early detection and intervention as well as management and control. The Copenhagen Roadmap was finalised and released on 4 June.

Diabetes was the principal cause of death of more than 100 000 persons in EU countries in 2008, and is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in most developed countries (OECD, 2010). Health expenditure to treat and prevent diabetes and its complications was estimated at USD 345 billion in OECD countries, in 2010 (IDF, 2009). Managing risk factors, including obesity and physical inactivity, reduces the odds of developing type 2 diabetes.


View the OECD press release.
View the background document.
More information on the EDLF and the Copenhagen Roadmap is available on the EDLF website at

- International Diabetes Federation, IDF (2009), Diabetes Atlas, 4th Edition, EDF, Brussels.
- OECD (2010), Health at A Glance – Europe, OECD, Paris.


Francesca Colombo, [email protected].