There are limited data comparing trends in overall and potentially preventable emergency department (ED) visits between adults with and without diabetes. We analyzed data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and pooled cohorts for years 2009-12 and 2014-17. We identified adults with diabetes by self-report, diabetes-specific ICD-codes, or prescriptions for antidiabetic agents. Potentially preventable visits were identified using ICD-codes specific to Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions (ACSCs), a list of conditions that can be prevented by primary care interventions (e.g., Urinary Tract Infection, Heart Failure, and Bacterial Pneumonia). We used event-level data to estimate weighted age- and sex-adjusted rates of average annual ED visits per 1000 persons and calculated standardized rate ratios by years and diabetes status. Compared to 2009-12, rates of ED use were higher among adults without diabetes in 2014-17 compared to 2009-12 (RR: 1.11). Compared to 2009-12, adults with diabetes in 2014-17 had no significant change in rates of ED use. In 2014-2017, compared to adults without diabetes, those with diabetes had twice the rate of ED service use (RR: 2.07) and had a 47% higher rate of preventable visits (RR: 1.47). Further research is required to understand factors that might be associated with the higher rates of ED use among people with diabetes.


T.S. Uppal: None. J. Haw: None. M.K. Shah: None. S. Turbow: Research Support; Self; Gilead Sciences, Inc. K. Narayan: None. M.K. Ali: Research Support; Self; Merck & Co., Inc.

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