Table of Contents
Economics Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 618039, 8 pages
Research Article

The Cost of Diabetes-Related Complications: Registry-Based Analysis of Days Absent from Work

1University of Southern Denmark, J. B. Winsløws Vej 9B, 5000 Odense, Denmark
2Novo Nordisk A/S, Vandtårnsvej 114, 2860 Søborg, Denmark

Received 8 December 2012; Accepted 30 January 2013

Academic Editor: Colin C. Williams

Copyright © 2013 Jan Sørensen and Uffe Jon Ploug. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to estimate the annual number of days absent from work associated with diabetes-related complications. Registry data were obtained for 34,882 individuals aged 18–70 years with hospital-diagnosed diabetes (ICD-10 codes: E10–E14) identified from a large national sample (40% of the Danish population) with 6 years of hospital utilisation data. The occurrence of a complication was defined as a hospital admission with a specified diagnosis or procedure code. Data on sickness episodes with municipal subsidy were retrieved for each individual. Days absent from work attributable to complications were defined as the estimated difference in absence days between individuals with and without the specified complication and were estimated for the first and subsequent years after the initial episode of the recorded complication. Angina pectoris, ischaemic stroke, and heart failure were the three most frequent complications in the population. Heart failure, amputation, renal disease, and peripheral vascular disease were on average associated with more than three-month additional absence from work during the first and subsequent years. Leg ulcers and neuropathy were associated with more days absent from work during the first year than in subsequent years. Diabetes complications are associated with a substantial number of additional days absent from work. The avoidance of these complications would benefit both patients and society.