Predicted Costs and Outcomes From Reduced Vibration Detection in People With Diabetes in the U.S.

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OBJECTIVEThe ability to perceive vibration (vibration detection) has been shown to be a good predictor of the long-term complications of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). We aimed to estimate the predicted complications and costs for the U.S. health care system associated with reduced vibration detection (vibration perception threshold ≥25 V), estimated using a quantitative sensory testing device.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSA Markov model was constructed for a hypothetical cohort of people with DPN. The model was run over a 10-year period using Monte Carlo simulations to estimate disease progression, predicted costs, and complications according to vibration detection levels.RESULTSThe average individual with reduced vibration detection incurs approximately five times more direct medical costs for foot ulcer and amputations, yields 0.18 fewer quality-adjusted life-years, and lives for ∼2 months less than an average individual with normal vibration detection.CONCLUSIONSThe treatment of foot ulceration and amputation is time-consuming and expensive. If individuals with reduced vibration detection could be identified, then preventative care could be concentrated on those patients, potentially saving valuable resources and improving health outcomes.

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