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Higher Health Costs for Diabetes Mainly Meds, Inpatient Care

Individuals with diabetes had more than double the unadjusted mean direct expenditures over 10 years

TUESDAY, July 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- From 2002 to 2012, individuals with diabetes had consistently higher health expenditure compared to those without diabetes, according to a study published online July 22 in Diabetes Care.

Mukoso N. Ozieh, M.D., from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues analyzed 10 years of data representing a weighted population of 189,013,514 U.S. adults from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. A novel two-part model was used to estimate adjusted mean and incremental medical expenditures, controlling for demographics, comorbidities, and time.

The researchers found that individuals with diabetes had more than double the unadjusted mean direct expenditures over the 10-year period compared to individuals without diabetes ($12,180 versus $5,058). Compared to those without diabetes, individuals with diabetes had $2,558 of significantly higher direct incremental expenditures, after adjustment for confounding variables. Inpatient expenditures increased from 2002/2003 to 2004/2005 and then decreased continuously to 2010/2011 for individuals with diabetes; expenditures increased steadily for individuals without diabetes. For individuals with diabetes, the estimated unadjusted total direct expenditures were $218.6 billion per year, and adjusted total incremental expenditures were about $46 billion per year.

"Our findings show that, compared with individuals without diabetes, individuals with diabetes had significantly higher health expenditures from 2002 to 2011 and the bulk of the expenditures came from hospital inpatient and prescription expenditures," the authors write.

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