Health Care Use and Costs in Individuals With Diabetes With and Without Comorbid Depression in Germany: Results of the Cross-sectional DiaDec Study

M. Brune*, U. Linnenkamp, S. Andrich, L. Jaffan-Kolb, H. Claessen, C.M. Dintsios, I. Schmitz-Losem, J. Kruse, N. Chernyak, M. Hiligsmann, N. Hermanns, A. Icks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)


OBJECTIVE Increased health care use and costs have been reported in individuals with diabetes with comorbid depression. Knowledge regarding cost differences between individuals with diabetes alone and those with diabetes and diagnosed/undiagnosed depression is, however, scarce. We therefore compared use and costs for patients with diabetes and no depression and patients with diabetes and documented depression diagnosis or self-reported depression symptoms for several cost components, including mental health care costs. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Data from a 2013 cross-sectional survey of randomly sampled members of a nationwide German statutory health insurance (SHI) provider with diabetes (n = 1,634) were linked individually with SHI data covering four quarters before and after the survey. Self-reported depression symptoms were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, with depression diagnosis taken from SHI data. We analyzed health care use and costs, using regression analysis to calculate cost ratios (CRs) with adjustment for sociodemographic/socioeconomic factors and comorbidities for two groups: 1) those with no symptoms and no diagnosis and 2) those with symptoms or diagnosis. In our explorative subanalysis we analyzed subgroups with either symptoms or diagnosis separately. RESULTS Annual mean total health care costs were higher for patients with comorbid depression (EUR 5,629 [95% CI 4,987-6,407]) than without (EUR 3,252 [2,976-3,675], the CR being 1.25 [1.14-1.36]). Regression analysis showed that excess costs were highly associated with comorbidities. Mental health care costs were very low for patients without depression (psychotherapy EUR 2; antidepressants EUR 4) and still relatively low for those with depression (psychotherapy EUR 111; antidepressants EUR 76). CONCLUSIONS Costs were significantly higher when comorbid depression was present either as symptoms or diagnosed. Excess costs for mental health services were rather low.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-415
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • adults
  • mellitus

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