Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate costs associated with the primary intervention of the Mediterranean Lifestyle Program (MLP), which targeted postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes at risk for coronary heart disease.
Methods: Using retrospective data collected during MLP development and implementation, the authors estimated costs for the first 6 months relative to the usual care condition and incremental costs per behavioral, biologic, and quality-of-life change. Sensitivity analyses were conducted using variations in inflation rates, implementation settings, labor and nonlabor inputs, and market wage rates.
Results: Of the sample of 279 study participants, 163 were randomized into the MLP condition. Total intervention costs were estimated at $211 061 ($148 022 direct costs) or $1295 per MLP participant relative to usual care ($908 direct costs). This translates to $3808 per average change in coronary heart disease risk as measured by an average 1-point reduction in hemoglobin A1C. Relative to other measured improvements, this corresponds to $2345 per unit reduction in body mass index and $644 per unit improvement in Problem Areas in Diabetes Quality-of-Life Self-care Summary score, and a $196 per-gram reduction in intake of saturated fatty acids as noted by the Food Frequency Questionnaire. A significant portion of the direct costs were related to the resources used during the recruitment phase.
Conclusions: Providing a relatively intensive lifestyle self-management program for this high-risk group is associated with modest incremental costs compared with usual care, making the program potentially appealing to policy makers.