Contribution of hypoglycemia to medical care expenditures and short-term disability in employees with diabetes

School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.8). 06/2005; 47(5):447-52. DOI: 10.1097/01.jom.0000161727.03431.3e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Diabetes is the third-most expensive physical health condition among US employees. We sought to evaluate the contribution of hypoglycemia to these costs.
We studied 2664 employees using insulin for whom medical encounters and short-term disability (STD) records were available.
Among these employees, 442 (16.6%) had a diagnosis of hypoglycemia during an average follow-up of 2.5 years. The risk of hospitalization and emergency room visits was increased twofold in this group. Much of this excess was associated with hypoglycemia. The annualized medical cost of hypoglycemia was $3241. Patients with hypoglycemia had 77% more STD days annually. The risk of STD in the week after hypoglycemia was increased fivefold.
These data suggest that hypoglycemia contributes substantially to medical care utilization and to disability-related work absence among employees using insulin.

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