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Cost of ambulatory care of diabetes mellitus: a study from north India
  1. S Grover1,
  2. A Avasthi1,
  3. A Bhansali2,
  4. S Chakrabarti1,
  5. P Kulhara1
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr A Bhansali
 Department of Endocrinology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh 160012, India;


Background: Diabetes mellitus is a chronic and potentially disabling disease that represents an important public health and clinical concern because of the economic burden it imposes on the person, family, and society. Despite this, data regarding cost of care of diabetes mellitus from developing countries are scarce. This study aimed to assess the cost of care of Indian patients with diabetes mellitus.

Methods: Cost of illness in 50 outpatients with diabetes mellitus (diagnosed according to WHO criteria, Expert Committee, 1997) was assessed over a six month period using a specially designed questionnaire, together with structured assessments of disability.

Results: Total annual cost of care was 14 508 rupees (263.78 euros). The largest proportion of the total cost was made up of direct costs (68%), followed by indirect costs (28.76%) and provider’s costs (2.8%). Drug costs were high. Total treatment cost was significantly higher in those who were more educated, those who visited the hospital more often, and those receiving a greater number of drugs.

Conclusion: From this study it can be concluded that diabetes mellitus is an expensive illness to treat even in developing countries. The main brunt of financial burden is borne by the family. Any efforts at cost reduction should, therefore, have the family as its focus, and relieving the family of this financial burden needs to be prioritised.

  • SAPD, schedule for assessment of psychiatric disability
  • CAQ, costs assessment questionnaire
  • cost of care
  • diabetes mellitus
  • health economics

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.

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