oa Journal of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes in South Africa - Hospitalisation of Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with and without major depressive disorder in a private managed healthcare organisation

Volume 24 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1608-9677
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1009



Background: The relationship between Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and associated co-morbidities, particularly major depressive disorder (MDD), is poorly acknowledged in chronic disease management practices in South Africa. Managed healthcare costs and hospitalisation rates may be influenced by the discrete management of co-morbid conditions. Therefore, the relationship between T2DM and MDD in terms of co-morbidity incidence and hospitalisation resource utilisation was investigated.

Method: This retrospective descriptive study analysed the data of 902 adult patients with T2DM from the health system database of a private managed healthcare organisation for 2014.

Results: The mean age was 57 ± 15 years and 85% of the identified T2DM patients had at least one recorded co-morbidity. Among this population 17% presented with MDD. A higher percentage of T2DM patients with MDD were admitted to hospital (42%, p = 0.004) compared with those without MDD (30%). The number of overnight admissions was higher among the T2DM with MDD (76%, p = 0.016) compared with T2DM without MDD (66%). The T2DM with MDD group (85%, p = 0.018) had greater non-diabetes related hospital events compared with the T2DM without MDD group (73%). The T2DM patients without MDD were more likely to be hospitalised for diabetes-related events (27%, p = 0.018) at significantly higher admission cost (p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Patients with T2DM and MDD present with more co-morbid conditions and had a higher number of hospitalisations than their non-MDD counterparts. However, the hospitalisation costs were significantly higher for diabetes-related admissions in the non-MDD group due to a higher number of macrovascular events. Healthcare organisations need to focus on an integrated approach in the management of chronic conditions with emphasis on active surveillance of T2DM patients, where MDD is identified and treated to lessen the risk of macrovascular complications.

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