Is diabetes mellitus equivalent to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease from a healthcare cost perspective? Insights from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey: 2010–2013

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Abstract

Diabetes mellitus (DM) and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) both increase the risk for a major adverse cardiac event, and are therefore considered priority conditions clinically. Although guidelines encourage clinicians to treat them similarly, many researchers do not consider DM an ASCVD risk-equivalent. However, from a healthcare system standpoint it is more important to determine whether DM is an economic burden equivalent to ASCVD. Using data from the Household Component of the 2010–2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we determined that the diagnosis of DM yields significantly lower healthcare expenditures and resource utilization when compared with ASCVD. In fact, the healthcare cost associated with DM alone is almost $1000 less than ASCVD. That being said, the cost and resource utilization was highest among those individuals diagnosed with ASCVD+DM, underscoring the importance of primary and secondary prevention to help detect individuals early and initiate proper lifestyle and aggressive therapeutic managements.

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