Introduction: Follow-up at 21.2 years after the initiation of the Steno-2 study, demonstrated that intensified multifactorial intervention increases median life-span with 7.9 years and delays incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) with a median of 8.1 years compared to conventional multifactorial intervention. Here we aimed to analyse the direct medical costs in the two original treatment groups during 21.2 years of follow-up.

Methods: In 1993, 160 Danish patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria were randomised to receive either conventional or intensified and target-driven multifactorial intervention for 7.8 years. Information on direct health costs was gathered from health registers and any difference of costs in the two groups was assessed by non-parametric bootstrap t-test analysis.

Results: Intensified treatment was on average more expensive regarding drug prescriptions, but less expensive in primary health sector services (both p<0.0001) and in-patient admission costs (p=0.02), specifically related to CVD (p<0.0001) during the entire follow-up period. There was no significant difference in total costs between the intensified treatment group, $13.0M and the conventional treatment group, $12.3M (p=0.19). When further assessing the cost per patient year there was no significant difference between the intensified group, $9,648, and the conventional treatment group, $10,681 (p=0.13).

Conclusion: Over an average follow-up of 21.2 years we found no significant increase in total costs or in costs per person year associated with intensified multipronged treatment for 7.8 years when compared to conventional multipronged treatment. Considering the substantial gain of years of life and health benefits achieved with intensified treatment we conclude that intensified multifaceted intervention in high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes is highly cost-effective in a Danish health care setting.


J. Gaede: None. J. Oellgaard: None. R. Ibsen: None. P. Gæde: None. E. Noertoft: Employee; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S. J. Kjellberg: None. O. Pedersen: None.

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