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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2008 Aug;81(2):223-30. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2008.03.019. Epub 2008 Jul 7.

The quality of life and economic burden of neuropathy in diabetic patients in Germany in 2002--results from the Diabetic Microvascular Complications (DIMICO) study.

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Lilly Deutschland GmbH, Saalburgerstr. 153, 61350 Bad Homburg, Germany.



To describe the health-related quality of life (HRQOL), the resource utilization and annual costs associated with diabetic neuropathy (DN) in Germany.


In this retrospective, observational study German internists, diabetologists and general practitioners provided information on 185 adult type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients with DN. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was assessed using generic and disease specific questionnaires. Socio-demographic and resource use data were assessed from medical charts and through patient interviews. Based on these results, national-level cost estimates were calculated using German unit costs.


The majority of DN patients were severely impaired with regard to general physical HRQOL. Disease specific HRQOL decreased continuously with increasing DN severity. In accordance, costs associated with DN increased as DN progressed, with costs from the societal perspective increasing about 50-fold from the lowest severity stage (patients with sensory-motor neuropathy without symptoms) (euro431) to patients with lower extremity amputation in the year 2002 (euro21,476). The German statutory health insurance covered more than two thirds of the total costs of DN.


The results described in this report show that diabetic neuropathy in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes generates significant reductions in the patient's quality of life and a substantial economic burden both for society and health insurance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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