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Publication date: 
July 3, 2015


Diabetes mellitus is a major burden in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). We estimated the direct cost of diabetes in KSA and the future cost accounting for currently undiagnosed and borderline diabetics.


We used a bottom-up approach to determine the direct cost of diabetes mellitus in KSA at the population level using Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) cost data for medications, health visits, laboratories, and hospitals. We used Saudi Health Interview Survey (SHIS) national data to estimate the number of people categorized as gestational, those with borderline diabetes (glucose intolerant), diagnosed, undiagnosed, controlled, and uncontrolled diabetics.


We estimate that the current cost of diabetes is at 17 billion Riyals. We also estimate that if those who are undiagnosed joined the treatment pool, the future cost would increase to 27 billion Riyals. Moreover, we estimate that if those with glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes) progress at the current observed rate to become diabetics, the future cost would be 43 billion Riyals.


With such a high cost, the projected growth of the Saudi population, and aging, KSA will face a tremendous strain on its human and financial resources. Prevention and control of diabetes mellitus should be the main focus in years to come.


Mokdad AH, Tuffaha M, Hanlon M, El Bcheraoui C, Daoud F, Al Saeedi M, Alrasheedy AA, Al Hussein MA, Memish ZA, Basulaiman M, AlMazroa MA, Al Rabeeah AA. Cost of diabetes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2014. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism. 2015; 6:575. doi:10.4172/2155-6156.1000575.