PORTLAND, Ore., June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Eleven integrated health systems, with more than 16 million members, have combined de-identified data from their electronic health records to form one of the largest, most comprehensive and most geographically diverse diabetes registries in the nation.

According to a new study published today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease, the SUPREME-DM DataLink provides a unique and powerful resource to conduct population-based diabetes research and clinical trials.

"The DataLink will allow us to compare more prevention and treatment strategies with a larger group of patients, which will ultimately prevent more people from getting the disease and improve care for the 25 million Americans who already have it," said Greg Nichols, PhD, lead study author and senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.

Most other registries are smaller and are associated with a single health or hospital system in one region of the country. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a valuable diabetes research database containing a similar number of patient records, but most of those patients are men, and they are sicker than the general population.

"Our database contains an ethnically and geographically diverse population of women and men who mirror the general population with diabetes. We can follow these patients over time and expect that what happens with our patients will also happen with patients throughout the country," said John Steiner, MD, a co-author and senior director with the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research in Denver.

The SUPREME-DM (SUrveillance, PREvention, and ManageEment of Diabetes Mellitus) DataLink includes de-identified health information from nearly 1.1 million people with diabetes in 10 states: California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon