To analyze the differences in health care costs according to glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Data on health care resource utilization from 100,391 people with type 2 diabetes were extracted from the electronic database used at the Catalan Health Institute. Multivariate regression models were carried out to test the impact of glycemic control (HbA1c) on total health care, hospital admission, and medication costs; model 1 adjusted for a variety of covariates, and model 2 also included micro- and macrovascular complications. Glycemic control was classified as good for HbA1c <7%, fair for ≥7% to <8%, poor for ≥8% to <10%, and very poor for ≥10%.
Mean per patient annual direct medical costs were 3,039 ± SD 6,581. Worse glycemic control was associated with higher total health care costs: compared with good glycemic control, health care costs increased by 18% (509.82) and 23% (661.35) in patients with very poor and poor glycemic control, respectively, when unadjusted and by 428.3 and 395.1, respectively, in model 2. Medication costs increased by 12% in patients with fair control and by 28% in those with very poor control (model 2). Patients with poor control had a higher probability of hospitalization than those with good control (5% in model 2) and a greater average cost when hospitalization occurred (811).
Poor glycemic control was directly related to higher total health care, hospitalization, and medication costs. Preventive strategies and good glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes could reduce the economic impact associated with this disease.