Joined the programme in 2014
As the second city to join the Cities Changing Diabetes programme, Copenhagen has made significant progress in its fight against diabetes. However, despite this progress and universal health coverage, societal inequalities make certain communities more vulnerable to developing diabetes1
Compared to many other cities in the Cities Changing Diabetes network, Copenhagen has a relatively low prevalence of diabetes, with 2.9% of the adult population diagnosed with the condition. An estimated 4.3% of the population is prediabetic2.
However, almost half (47%) of the residents in the Copenhagen Region are overweight, and one in three adults is severely overweight3. This is concerning and may increase the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions.
of adults in Copenhagen are diagnosed with diabetes2
1 in 3
adults in the Copenhagen region is severely overweight3
In Copenhagen, the programme’s research informed the city’s Diabetes Action Plan in 2016, which aimed to address inequalities in diabetes management. The findings also led to targeted interventions such as the establishment of a specialised diabetes centre, a community-based mentor programme and a community action research initiative focused on the most vulnerable populations.
A hub for diabetes support and advice
The first of its kind in Denmark, the Center for Diabetes and Heart Disease has since 2016 provided citizens living with type 2 diabetes or heart disease with systematic, evidence-based support and advice. In addition to a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including nurses, physiotherapists and dieticians, the centre offers a health-promoting environment with daily activities, patient education, physical exercise and cooking classes.
Peer mentoring programme
One of the key interventions run by the Center for Diabetes and Heart Disease is a peer-mentoring programme. Cities Changing Diabetes research in Copenhagen found that unemployed men over the age of 40 with limited social networks are particularly vulnerable to developing diabetes. In 2017, the programme launched to help build a peer-to-peer social network for men so that they feel more motivated to make lasting lifestyle changes. The programme recruits and connects mentors and mentees based on their proximity to one another.
Impressive results and high ambitions
The centre plays a central role in the updated Diabetes and Heart Action Plan 2022-25, both as an effective and valued service provider and as a national and international knowledge hub.
Mobilising communities for social and health actions
Tingbjerg Changing Diabetes is a long-term community intervention initiative to promote health and prevent type 2 diabetes among high-risk population groups living in the socially deprived neighbourhood of Tingbjerg in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is a place-based approach that includes numerous coordinated interventions driven by multiple stakeholders across various everyday settings. As part of the programme, the city’s Center for Diabetes has opened a satellite office in Tingbjerg.
"In recent years, Copenhagen has made great progress in the fight against diabetes. We have had greater focus on health inequalities. Because we know that vulnerable citizens have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes. We have opened our country’s first dedicated Center for Diabetes where citizens who live with type 2 diabetes can co-create the self-management assistance they need. The demand has been so great that we are now building a new centre."
— Sisse Marie Welling, Mayor of Health and Care.
Download Copenhagen fact sheet
Learn more about the Copenhagen Center for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Download Copenhagen Center for Diabetes intervention catalogue
Download Copenhagen Center for Diabetes handbook for diabetes buddies
Download the Center for Diabetes and Heart Disease impact report 2022
Download the Copenhagen Action plan for Diabetes and Heart Disease
Region Hovedstaden. Sunhedsprofil for region og kommuner 2013. 2014. https://www.regionh.dk/presse-og-nyt/pressemeddelelser-og-nyheder/Documents/SundhedsprofilRegionHovedstaden2013.pdf & Region Hovedstaden. Forskningscenter for Forebyggelse og Sundhed. 2011. Forskningscenter for Forebyg- gelse og Sundhed.
Diabetes foreningen. Diabetes i Region Hovedstaden. 2021. https://diabetes.dk/media/ct5dbmsb/diabetesrisiko-samlet-2022-hovedstaden.pdf
Region Hovedstaden. ‘Hvordan har du det?’ Sundhedsprofil for Region Hovedstaden og kommuner. 2021. Sunhedsadfærd og riskiofaktorer. https://www.regionh.dk/til-fagfolk/Sundhed/Sundhedsprofilen/Resultater/Documents/Rapporter/Sundhedsprofil_2021_web.pdf