Research Article| Volume 258, P79-83, March 2017

Favorable cardiovascular risk factor profile is associated with lower healthcare expenditure and resource utilization among adults with diabetes mellitus free of established cardiovascular disease: 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)


      • Those with DM were 8 times more likely to have poor CRF profiles than those without DM.
      • Presence of DM yielded high healthcare expenditure and resource utilization.
      • Improving CRF profile reduced cost independent of DM status.
      • Individuals with DM spent $2774 more than individuals without DM.


      Background and aims

      Given the prevalence and economic burden of diabetes mellitus (DM), we studied the impact of a favorable cardiovascular risk factor (CRF) profile on healthcare expenditures and resource utilization among individuals without cardiovascular disease (CVD), by DM status.


      25,317 participants were categorized into 3 mutually-exclusive strata: “Poor”, “Average” and “Optimal” CRF profiles (≥4, 2–3, 0–1 CRF, respectively). Two-part econometric models were utilized to study cost data.


      Mean age was 45 (48% male), with 54% having optimal, 39% average, and 7% poor CRF profiles. Individuals with DM were more likely to have poor CRF profile vs. those without DM (OR 7.7, 95% CI 6.4, 9.2). Individuals with DM/poor CRF profile had a mean annual expenditure of $9,006, compared to $6,461 among those with DM/optimal CRF profile (p < 0.001).


      A favorable CRF profile is associated with significantly lower healthcare expenditures and utilization in CVD-free individuals across DM status, suggesting that these individuals require aggressive individualized prescriptions targeting lifestyle modifications and therapeutic treatments.


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