Utilization patterns and cost of complementary and alternative medicine compared to conventional medicine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
ABSTRACT We evaluated the use and annual cost of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) compared to conventional medicine in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) in the Korean population.
We analyzed the database of 2752 DM patients obtained from the Korean National Diabetes Program (KNDP). The cost data of conventional medicine starting 1-year before enrolment of the KNDP were obtained from the hospital electronic database. The cost data of CAM over the same period were obtained from questionnaires.
Among the 2752 subjects, 677 patients (24.6%) used CAM, with the most common type being red ginseng and herbal medicine. Patients with a higher income, neuropathy, and self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) were more likely to use CAM. Men, those with a higher education level and income, no cerebrovascular accident (CVA) history, and SMBG showed a relatively higher cost of CAM of total medical cost. The independent predictors for CAM were a higher income, the existence of diabetic neuropathy, no CVA history, and SMBG.
Use and cost of CAM varied depending on income, accompanying complications and SMBG. To evaluate the total medical costs in DM patients, a comprehensive approach considering not only conventional cost but also CAM is required.