Diabetes mellitus is well_known for the heavy economical burden it poses on society. The DiabCOST study was conducted to estimate the direct medical costs of DM in the adult population in Turkey. From 13 participating centers, a total of 959 diabetic patients were included. Investigators enrolled every diabetic patient encountered in the wards or outpatient clinics of their center during a period of 2 months. Demographical, medical and economical data collection included the 2-month study period as well as the preceding 12 months.
The great majority of patients (89.9%) had type II DM, While 97 (10.1%) had type I disease. The patient population was characterized by high systemic complication rates and poor glycemic control. A total of 672 patients (70.1%) had one or more systemic complications. The annual direct cost per patient was found to be between 1100-2100 dollars .About half of this amount was due to treatment costs (560-1100 dollars). For the patients with diabetic complications, total direct cost was approximately 3 times the cost of those without. Total direct cost increased 6.5-fold when a patient was hospitalized. Oral hypoglycemic, insulin and combined insulin and oral hypoglycemic treatments cost respectively 2.5,3 and 4 times more than diet alone. As the study is conducted in tertiary health care facilities, the observed complication rate may not accurately reflect the Turkish population. We have therefore employed a range of 0-70% as the rate of diabetic complications. With this model, the overall direct cost of DM in Turkey may be estimated to be 1-2.5 billion USD per year, each 10% increment in the complication rate resulting in an additional cost of 180-190 million USD annually.