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PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26864. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026864. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Cost-of-illness analysis of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Iran.

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  • 1Health Economics Department, School of Health Care Management, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Diabetes is a worldwide high prevalence chronic progressive disease that poses a significant challenge to healthcare systems. The aim of this study is to provide a detailed economic burden of diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and its complications in Iran in 2009 year.


This is a prevalence-based cost-of-illness study focusing on quantifying direct health care costs by bottom-up approach. Data on inpatient hospital services, outpatient clinic visits, physician services, drugs, laboratory test, education and non-medical cost were collected from two national registries. The human capital approach was used to calculate indirect costs separately in male and female and also among different age groups.


The total national cost of diagnosed T2DM in 2009 is estimated at 3.78 billion USA dollars (USD) including 2.04±0.28 billion direct (medical and non-medical) costs and indirect costs of 1.73 million. Average direct and indirect cost per capita was 842.6±102 and 864.8 USD respectively. Complications (48.9%) and drugs (23.8%) were main components of direct cost. The largest components of medical expenditures attributed to diabetes's complications are cardiovascular disease (42.3% of total Complications cost), nephropathy (23%) and ophthalmic complications (14%). Indirect costs include temporarily disability (335.7 million), permanent disability (452.4 million) and reduced productivity due to premature mortality (950.3 million).


T2DM is a costly disease in the Iran healthcare system and consume more than 8.69% of total health expenditure. In addition to these quantified costs, T2DM imposes high intangible costs on society in terms of reduced quality of life. Identification of effective new strategies for the control of diabetes and its complications is a public health priority.

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