Assessing the economic value of maintained improvements in Type 1 diabetes management, in terms of HbA1c , weight and hypoglycaemic event incidence

Diabet Med. 2018 May;35(5):557-566. doi: 10.1111/dme.13590. Epub 2018 Feb 28.


Aims: Insulin therapy is indicated for people with Type 1 diabetes mellitus; however, treatment-related weight gain and hypoglycaemia represent barriers to optimal glycaemic management. This study assessed the health economic value of maintained reductions in HbA1c , BMI and hypoglycaemia incidence among the UK Type 1 diabetes population.

Methods: The Cardiff Type 1 Diabetes Model was used to estimate lifetime costs, life-years and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) for individuals with Type 1 diabetes at different baseline HbA1c , BMI and hypoglycaemic event rates. Results were discounted at 3.5%, and the net monetary benefit associated with improving Type 1 diabetes management was derived at £20 000/QALY gained. Per-person outputs were inflated to national levels using UK Type 1 diabetes prevalence estimates.

Results: Modelled subjects with an HbA1c of 86 mmol/mol (10.0%) were associated with discounted lifetime per-person costs of £23 795; £12 649 of which may be avoided by maintaining an HbA1c of 42 mmol/mol (6.0%). Combined with estimated QALY gains of 2.80, an HbA1c of 42 mmol/mol (6.0%) vs. 86 mmol/mol (10.0%) was associated with a £68 621 per-person net monetary benefit. Over 1 year, unit reductions in BMI produced £120 per-person net monetary benefit, and up to £197 for the avoidance of one non-severe hypoglyceamic event.

Conclusions: Maintained reductions in HbA1c significantly alleviate the burden associated with Type 1 diabetes in the UK. Given the influence of weight and hypoglycaemia on health economic outcomes, they must also be key considerations when assessing the value of Type 1 diabetes technologies in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / economics*
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemia / economics*
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / economics*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / economics*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • United Kingdom
  • Weight Gain*


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human