An economic analysis of interventions for diabetes

D C Klonoff, D M Schwartz
Diabetes Care 2000, 23 (3): 390-404
The objective of this article is to stratify interventions for diabetes according to their economic impact. We conducted a review of the literature to select articles that performed a cost-benefit analysis for 17 widely practiced interventions for diabetes. A scale for categorizing interventions according to their economic impact was defined. The 17 interventions were classified as follows: 1) clearly cost-saving, 2) clearly cost-effective, 3) possibly cost-effective, 4) non-cost-effective, or 5) unclear. Clearly cost-saving interventions included eye care and pre-conception care. Clearly cost-effective interventions included nephropathy prevention in type 1 diabetes and improved glycemic control. Possibly cost-effective interventions included nephropathy prevention in type 2 diabetes and self-management training. Non-cost-effective interventions were not identified. Interventions with unclear economic impact included case management, medical nutrition therapy, self-monitoring of blood glucose, foot care, blood pressure control, blood lipid control, smoking cessation, exercise, weight loss, HbA1c measurement, influenza vaccination, and pneumococcus vaccination. Widely practiced interventions for patients with diabetes can be clearly cost-saving and clearly cost-effective. These practices are attractive from both a medical and an economic perspective.

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