The Cost of Hypoglycemia Associated With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Taiwan



To quantify the incremental burden of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and a hypoglycemic event in Taiwan using the National Health Insurance Research Database.


Data from 2000 through 2013 with an index period of 2001 through 2012 from the National Health Insurance Research Database’s 2-million-patient sample were used. Using a nested case-control study design, patients were indexed if they reported a diagnosis of T2DM during the index period. Patients with T2DM with a hypoglycemic event (defined by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes) during the index period were identified. Patients with T2DM without a hypoglycemic event were included to form a 4:1 (controls to cases) matched cohort on the basis of age, sex, the Charlson Comorbidity Index, and the T2DM diagnosis date. Both cohorts were followed up for 1 year after the hypoglycemic event and had their treatment utilization, resource utilization, and healthcare costs measured.


A total of 144 213 patients with T2DM were identified, with 3 651 (2.5%) recording a hypoglycemic event. Before matching, patients with T2DM with a hypoglycemic event were, on average, older (64.2 vs 56.6) and had higher mean CCI scores (2.4 vs 1.9) than did patients with T2DM without a hypoglycemic event. After matching, patients with T2DM and a hypoglycemic event incurred an additional $1353 in average direct healthcare costs during the 1 year of follow-up compared with the matched cohort. Patients with T2DM with hypoglycemia also spent an additional 5.9 days in the hospital during the follow-up period compared with the matched cohort.


Patients with hypoglycemic events, on average, experienced a substantially higher economic burden than did their counterparts without a hypoglycemic event during the same period.


Alena Strizek Chee-Jen Chang Wesley Furnback Bruce Wang Jérémie Lebrec Thomas Lew

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