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J Intern Med. 1998 Dec;244(6):461-8.

Diabetes: the cost of illness in Sweden.

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Centre for Health Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.



To estimate the total cost of diabetes mellitus in Sweden in 1994 and to compare the cost structure with a former Swedish study and with American studies. The study also aims to investigate how the total cost is distributed between control of and complications of the disease.


In order to estimate the economic burden of diabetes mellitus in Sweden in 1994, the cost-of-illness method, based on the human capital theory, has been used. Both direct and indirect costs have been estimated using a prevalence approach and a 'top-down' method.


The economic burden of diabetes mellitus is estimated at 5746 MSEK (1US$ = 7.50 SEK) in Sweden in 1994. The direct costs are estimated at 2455 MSEK and constitute about 43% of the total cost. The indirect costs (production loss due to morbidity and premature mortality) were the dominant costs and amounted to 3291 MSEK, or 57% of total cost. Comparisons with a previous Swedish study from 1978 show some interesting results. Firstly, the distribution of direct and indirect costs is identical between the two studies. Secondly, the distribution of costs between management/control of the disease and complications was about the same, comparing the situation 16 years apart. Four American studies show a cost structure similar to the cost structure presented in this study.


The overall conclusion must be that very little has changed in the cost structure of diabetes in Sweden between 1978 and 1994.

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