The cost of illness attributable to diabetic foot and cost-effectiveness of secondary prevention in Peru

María Kathia Cárdenas, Andrew J. Mirelman, Cooper J. Galvin, María Lazo-Porras, Miguel Pinto, J. Jaime Miranda, Robert H. Gilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Diabetes mellitus is a public health challenge worldwide, and roughly 25 % of patients with diabetes in developing countries will develop at least one foot ulcer during their lifetime. The gravest outcome of an ulcerated foot is amputation, leading to premature death and larger economic costs. Methods: This study aimed to estimate the economic costs of diabetic foot in high-risk patients in Peru in 2012 and to model the cost-effectiveness of a year-long preventive strategy for foot ulceration including: sub-optimal care (baseline), standard care as recommended by the International Diabetes Federation, and standard care plus daily self-monitoring of foot temperature. A decision tree model using a population prevalence-based approach was used to calculate the costs and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). Outcome measures were deaths and major amputations, uncertainty was tested with a one-way sensitivity analysis. Results: The direct costs for prevention and management with sub-optimal care for high-risk diabetics is around US$74.5 million dollars in a single year, which decreases to US$71.8 million for standard care and increases to US$96.8 million for standard care plus temperature monitoring. The implementation of a standard care strategy would avert 791 deaths and is cost-saving in comparison to sub-optimal care. For standard care plus temperature monitoring compared to sub-optimal care the ICER rises to US$16,124 per death averted and averts 1,385 deaths. Conclusion: Diabetic foot complications are highly costly and largely preventable in Peru. The implementation of a standard care strategy would lead to net savings and avert deaths over a one-year period. More intensive prevention strategies such as incorporating temperature monitoring may also be cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number483
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015


  • Chronic diseases
  • Cost analysis
  • Cost effectiveness analysis
  • Developing countries
  • Diabetic foot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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