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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 5

Economic burden of diabetes in people living with the disease; a field study

1 Second year student of MBBS, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Center, Chennai - India
2 Department of Community Medicine, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Center, Chennai - India

Correspondence Address:
A.C.V. Loganathan
Second year student of MBBS, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Center, Chennai - India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Diabetes Mellitus is a growing epidemic and the cost of treating diabetes is largely increasing. The objective of the study was to assess and quantify the economic burden of treating diabetes in Chennai among various socio-economic groups with a specific focus on middle-income and middle- aged group. A prevalence-based 'Cost-of-Illness' study for diabetes care was conducted in six different outpatient clinics located in Chennai, India during the months of May and August 2011. A pre-tested questionnaire was administered to collect the data from 100 randomly selected persons with diabetes. The annual mean direct cost for each person with diabetes was estimated to be Indian Rupee (INR) 23,818 (USD 380). The INR 22, 720 (USD 363) spent on medicines accounted for the largest share of direct costs (95%). Comparing annual median direct medical cost incurred by different income groups of people with diabetes, the study revealed that the middle-income group incurs 74% less direct medical costs than the lower income group and no significant difference with high-income groups. The middle-aged group incurs 80% more direct medical costs than their younger counterparts, but 17% more compared to the higher age group. The study found that age, gender and education levels had no significant role in affecting the medical costs. This study concluded that people with diabetes make substantial expenditures - costs that can be saved by prevention, public awareness and health insurance plans specific to diabetes care. Research and programmes need to be initiated to minimize costs and prevent the epidemic.

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