Cost of diabetes care in out-patient clinics of Karachi, Pakistan

BMC Health Serv Res. 2007 Nov 21;7:189. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-7-189.


Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a growing epidemic and the cost of treating diabetes is largely increasing. The objective of this study was to estimate the cost-of-illness of DM among attendees of out-patient clinics in Karachi, Pakistan. This is the first study conducted from a societal perspective to estimate the cost of managing diabetes in Pakistan.

Methods: A prevalence-based 'Cost-of-Illness' study for diabetes care was conducted in six different out-patient clinics of Karachi, Pakistan from July to September 2006. A pre-tested questionnaire was administered to collect the data from 345 randomly selected persons with diabetes.

Results: The annual mean direct cost for each person with diabetes was estimated to be Pakistani rupees 11,580 (US$ 197). Medicines accounted for the largest share of direct cost (46%), followed by laboratory investigations (32%). We found that increased age, the number of complications and longer duration of the disease significantly increase the burden of cost on society (p < 0.001). Comparing cost with family income it was found that the poorest segment of society is spending 18% of total family income on diabetes care.

Conclusion: This study concluded that substantial expenditure is incurred by people with diabetes; with the implication that resources could be saved by prevention, earlier detection and a reduction in diabetes co-morbidities and complications through improved diabetes care. Large scale and cost-effective prevention programs need to be initiated to maximise health gains and to reverse the advance of this epidemic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / economics*
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Diabetes Complications / economics
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / economics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diagnostic Services / economics
  • Diagnostic Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Direct Service Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Costs
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / economics
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Prevalence


  • Hypoglycemic Agents