ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus carries a great burden on healthcare costs due to its growing population and high co-morbidity. This adverse effect sustains even when patients develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We here present data showing the effect of diabetes on economic costs in dialysis therapy in Taiwan. As of the end of 1997, we have 22,027 ESRD patients with a prevalence and incidence rate of 1013 and 253 per million populations, respectively. Diabetic nephropathy is the second most common cause of the underlying renal diseases, but accounts for 24.8% of the prevalent patients and 35.9% of the incident cases. The diabetic patients engendered 11.8% more expense for care of dialysis than the non-diabetic patients (US $26,988 vs. US $24,146 per patient-year). Higher inpatient cost mainly account for the difference. As compared to non-diabetic patients, the diabetic patients had 3.5 times more inpatients costs (US $1325 vs. US $4677 per patient-year), and higher proportion of inpatient-to-annualized cost ratio (5.5 vs. 17.3%) resulting from their more frequent hospitalization (0.59 vs. 1.13 times per patient-year) and longer hospital stay (6.7 vs. 18.9 days per patient-year). The major causes responsible for a more frequent hospitalization were cardiovascular disease, poorly controlled hyperglycemia, sepsis and failure of vascular access. The annualized costs for care of dialysis patients in Taiwan, including inpatient and outpatient costs, averaged US $25,576 per patient-year. This value is approximately half of that in most of the western countries and Japan. Thus, a more cost-effective way to achieve savings is to reduce the high incidence rate of dialysis population and to maximize the quality of dialysis treatment for avoiding hospitalization. Recent studies had shown that tight blood pressure control, intensive glycemic control, and use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in diabetic patients significantly reduced not only the rate of progressive renal failure, but also substantially reduced the cost of complications and led to higher cost effectiveness. Once diabetic patients reach stage of ESRD, an optimized pre-ESRD care and consideration of kidney transplantation are essential in terms of better patient survival and cost savings.
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 12/2001; 54 Suppl 1:S47-54. · 2.75 Impact Factor