Cost of Treating Skin Problems in Patients with Diabetes Who Use Insulin Pumps and/or Glucose Sensors

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Background: The use of insulin pump and glucose sensor is advantageous, but unfortunately many experience skin problems. To reduce or overcome skin problems, patients use additional products or change their sets preterm. Therefore, the aim was to investigate costs related to skin problems. Materials and Methods: Two hundred sixty-three patients from four different hospitals in Denmark participated in a cross-sectional survey about skin problems related to insulin pump and/or glucose sensor use. Additional costs aside technology and diabetes treatment were calculated based on adhesives, patches, lotion, and preterm shifts of infusion or sensor sets due to skin problems. Descriptive statistics and linear regression were used. Results: The total costs for all these expenses were 11493.9 U.S. dollars (USD) in 145 pediatric patients and 4843 USD in 118 adult patients. The costs were higher in patients with, than without, skin problems and for skin problems due to the glucose sensor compared with insulin pump. Pediatric patients with eczema and/or wound due to the glucose sensor did cost 154.3 USD more, than patients without these skin problems (P < 0.01). We found a clear dose/response relationship between costs and severity of skin problems, especially in pediatric patients. Conclusions: Our data show that skin problems due to use of insulin pump and/or glucose sensor have significant costs on the Danish welfare system. This leaves an economic incentive for developing more skin-sensitive adhesive for the infusion set and sensors, at least for a certain subgroup of patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes Technology & Therapeutics
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)658-665
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

ID: 252301168