Type 2 diabetes mellitus in China: a preventable economic burden

Am J Manag Care. 2009 Sep;15(9):593-601.


Objectives: To estimate the direct and indirect costs of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in China in 2007 and project these costs for the year 2030, and to examine and compare the benefits of selected interventions.

Study design: Annual direct costs of medical and nonmedical care and indirect costs of income losses were estimated through case calculation of data from a cross-sectional survey carried out in 4 major Chinese cities from March 2007 to September 2007.

Methods: The subjects were consecutively recruited T2DM outpatients and inpatients from 20 secondary and tertiary hospitals using selection probability proportional to size sampling. We combined the existing data from cost-effectiveness studies into the case estimation to examine the benefits of the observed regime of interventions for preventing and treating diabetes.

Results: Annual direct medical and direct nonmedical costs per case averaged 1320.90 USD and 180.80 USD, respectively. The mean annual indirect costs of T2DM and its complications were estimated to be 206.10 USD. Based on case numbers in 2007 and projected case numbers in 2030, the direct medical costs of T2DM and its complications were estimated to be 26.0 billion USD in 2007 and were projected to be 47.2 billion USD in 2030.

Conclusions: The results indicated that T2DM consumes a large portion of healthcare expenditures and will continue to place a heavy burden on health budgets in the future. Preventive intervention, screening, and treatment strategies may effectively decrease the incidence and complications of diabetes and therefore save costs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / economics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Expenditures
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health / economics