BACKGROUND: This article presents cost-effectiveness analyses of the major diabetes interventions as formulated in the revised Dutch guidelines for diabetes type 2 patients in primary and secondary care. The analyses consider two types of care: diabetes control and the treatment of complications, each at current care level and according to the guidelines. METHODS: A validated probabilistic diabetes model describes diabetes and its complications over a lifetime in the Dutch population, computing quality-adjusted life years and medical costs. Effectiveness data and costs of diabetes interventions are from observational current care studies and intensive care experiments. Lifetime consequences of in total sixteen intervention mixes are compared with a baseline glycaemic control of 10% HBA1C. RESULTS: The interventions may reduce the cumulative incidence of blindness, lower-extremity amputation, and end-stage renal disease by >70% in primary care and >60% in secondary care. All primary care guidelines together add 0.8 quality-adjusted life years per lifetime. CONCLUSION: In case of few resources, treating complications according to guidelines yields the most health benefits. Current care of diabetes complications is inefficient. If there are sufficient resources, countries may implement all guidelines, also on diabetes control, and improve efficiency in diabetes care.

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The Netherlands Journal of Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Niessen, L. W., Dijkstra, R., Hutubessy, R., Rutten, G., & Casparie, A. (2003). Lifetime health effects and costs of diabetes treatment. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from