Journal List > Korean Diabetes J > v.32(4) > 1002237

Moon, Jo, Park, Kim, Jung, Kim, Kim, Chung, and Lee: Clinical Characteristics and Direct Medical Costs of Type 2 Diabetic Patients



Type 2 diabetes mellitus is an expensive chronic metabolic disorder and its prevalence has been increasing rapidly in South Korea, owing to a westernized lifestyle. We analyzed the annual direct medical costs attributable to type 2 diabetes and its chronic complications in Korea retrospectively.


We randomly selected 1,051 patients with type 2 diabetes who visited Ajou University Hospital as an outpatient in 2005. Clinical characteristics, duration of diabetes, and microvascular and macrovascular complications were assessed from a medical chart review. The annual direct medical costs included insurance covered and uncovered medical costs.


Of the 1,051 patients with type 2 diabetes, 48.2% had at least one microvascular complication, 5.6% had at least one macrovascular complication, and 12.4% of the patients had both microvascular and macrovascular complications. The average annual direct medical cost was found to be 3,348,488won per patient. In patients with microvascular complications, the total cost of management was increased 1.4 times compared to those without complications. Direct medical costs for patients with macrovascular complications were 2.1-fold as high as patients with no complications. Those patients with both microvascular and macrovascular complications, increased costs by 3.1-fold over those without complications.


Chronic complications have a substantial impact on the direct medical costs of type 2 diabetes. The prevention of chronic diabetic complications will not only influence the mortality and morbidity of patients with type 2 diabetes, but also potentially reduce medical costs.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1
Annual average costs per patient by complication. *P < 0.05 when compared to none. P < 0.05 when compared to patients with microvascular complication. P < 0.05 when compared to patients with macrovascular complication.
Fig. 2
Annual average costs per patient by glucose control method. *P < 0.05 when compared to Diet & Exercise. P < 0.05 when compared to OHA. OHA, oral hypoglycemic agents.
Fig. 3
Annual average costs per patient by diabetic duration. *P < 0.05 when compared to D < 5. P < 0.05 when compared to 5 ≤ D < 10. D, duration.
Table 1
Inclusion criteria for microvascular and macrovascular complications of type 2 diabetes

CABG, coronary artery bypass graft; MI, myocardial infarction; PAOD, peripheral artery occlusive disease; PTCA, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; TIA, transient ischemic attack.

Table 2
Characteristics of 1,051 type 2 diabetic patients

GFR, glomerular filtration rate; HDL, high-density lipoproteins; LDL, low-density lipoproteins; OHA, oral hypoglycemic agents.


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