Alva M, Gray A. Et al. Diabetic Medicine. Doi: 10.1111/dme.12647
In the time of austerity, long-term increasingly means until the end of the financial year. This becomes an issue during the treatment of long-term conditions where savings are often not seen for many years. Both the original UKPDS and its subsequent legacy study have shown significant reductions in both micro and macro vascular disease. This analysis from the UKPDS cohort has sought to estimate the immediate and long-term health care costs associated with diabetes complications using hospitalization records for 2791 patients in England and resource use questionnaires administered to 3589 patients across the UK. Examples of such in patient costs (during the event year) include £9546 for an amputation, non fatal stroke £6805 and £1355 for blindness in one eye. In each subsequent year, the costs were £1611 for amputation and £654 for ischaemic heart disease. This study highlights the substantial costs associated with diabetes complications and demonstrate the importance of early and pro-active intervention from a financial point of view. Of course using this data to justify the short term costs of intervention including drug therapy is a question for policy makers.