Direct treatment costs of diabetes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased with the presence and progression of chronic diabetes-related complications, a study has found. Hospitalization costs constituted a large proportion and were increasingly higher with the presence and progression of diabetes-related complications.

The total annual direct treatment costs among diabetes patients without complications was US$1,605, which is 3.2 times higher than the per capita expenditure for health care in the UAE (US$497) during 2004. The cost increased 2.2 times with the presence of diabetes-related complications for patients with microvascular complications, by 6.4 times for patients with macrovascular complications and 9.4 times for patients with both micro and macrovascular complications.

The annual direct hospitalization costs of diabetic patients increased by 3.7 times for patients with microvascular complications, by 6.6 times for patients with macrovascular complications and by five times for patients with both micro and macrovascualr complications. Overall, costs increased with age, diabetes duration and were higher for patients treated with insulin compared to those treated with oral hypoglycemic agents or with diet control only.

Source:
1. Al-Maskari F, El-Sadig M, Nagelkerke N. Assessment of the direct medical costs of diabetes mellitus and its complications in the United Arab Emirates. BMC Public Health 2010; 10: 679. (open access)

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