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05.11.2015 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 8/2016 Open Access

The European Journal of Health Economics 8/2016

Direct medical costs attributable to type 2 diabetes mellitus: a population-based study in Catalonia, Spain

The European Journal of Health Economics > Ausgabe 8/2016
Manel Mata-Cases, Marc Casajuana, Josep Franch-Nadal, Aina Casellas, Conxa Castell, Irene Vinagre, Dídac Mauricio, Bonaventura Bolíbar
Wichtige Hinweise
Manel Mata-Cases and Marc Casajuana wrote the manuscript and contributed equally to this study.


We estimated healthcare costs associated with patients with type 2 diabetes compared with non-diabetic subjects in a population-based primary care database through a retrospective analysis of economic impact during 2011, including 126,811 patients with type 2 diabetes in Catalonia, Spain. Total annual costs included primary care visits, hospitalizations, referrals, diagnostic tests, self-monitoring test strips, medication, and dialysis. For each patient, one control matched for age, gender and managing physician was randomly selected from a population database. The annual average cost per patient was €3110.1 and €1803.6 for diabetic and non-diabetic subjects, respectively (difference €1306.6; i.e., 72.4 % increased cost). The costs of hospitalizations were €1303.1 and €801.6 (62.0 % increase), and medication costs were €925.0 and €489.2 (89.1 % increase) in diabetic and non-diabetic subjects, respectively. In type 2 diabetic patients, hospitalizations and medications had the greatest impact on the overall cost (41.9 and 29.7 %, respectively), generating approximately 70 % of the difference between diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Patients with poor glycaemic control (glycated haemoglobin >7 %; >53 mmol/mol) had average costs of €3296.5 versus €2848.5 for patients with good control. In the absence of macrovascular complications, average costs were €3008.1 for diabetic and €1612.4 for non-diabetic subjects, while its presence increased costs to €4814.6 and €3306.8, respectively. In conclusion, the estimated higher costs for type 2 diabetes patients compared with non-diabetic subjects are due mainly to hospitalizations and medications, and are higher among diabetic patients with poor glycaemic control and macrovascular complications.

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