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J Occup Environ Med. 2005 May;47(5):447-52.

Contribution of hypoglycemia to medical care expenditures and short-term disability in employees with diabetes.

Author information

1
School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Diabetes is the third-most expensive physical health condition among US employees. We sought to evaluate the contribution of hypoglycemia to these costs.

METHODS:

We studied 2664 employees using insulin for whom medical encounters and short-term disability (STD) records were available.

RESULTS:

Among these employees, 442 (16.6%) had a diagnosis of hypoglycemia during an average follow-up of 2.5 years. The risk of hospitalization and emergency room visits was increased twofold in this group. Much of this excess was associated with hypoglycemia. The annualized medical cost of hypoglycemia was $3241. Patients with hypoglycemia had 77% more STD days annually. The risk of STD in the week after hypoglycemia was increased fivefold.

CONCLUSION:

These data suggest that hypoglycemia contributes substantially to medical care utilization and to disability-related work absence among employees using insulin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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