Diabetes and medical expenditures among non-institutionalized U.S. adults

Ruwei Hu, Leiyu Shi, Geraldine Pierre, Jinsheng Zhu, De Chih Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Aims: This research presents a comprehensive picture of medical spending associated with diabetes in the United States, accounting for important population characteristics. Methods: The Household Component (HC) of the 2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) was used for this study. Regression analysis was used to compare medical spending between individuals with and without diabetes. The dependent variables of interest were total and out-of-pocket expenditures related to medical care, hospital use, physician office visits, and prescription drug use. Results: This study reveals that individuals with diabetes experience significantly greater medical, hospital, physician office, and prescription drug expenditures compared to those without diabetes. Even after controlling for predisposing, enabling, and need factors, adults with diabetes spent $1843 more on total medical expenditures and $353 more on out-of-pocket medical expenditures than those without diabetes. Significant disparities were found in total and out-of-pocket expenditures by age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, and insurance status. Conclusions: Comprehensive interventions that focus on education and prevention should target individuals and communities at high-risk for diabetes and its complications. Our findings suggest that programs should focus on older Americans and those with poor health and mental health status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Diabetes medical expenditures
  • Medical expenditure panel study (MEPS)
  • Vulnerable population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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