Background: The age is a variable positively related to healthcare expenditures on diabetes
(DM), however other factors could also be associated. Physical activity, normal weight and walking
habit could be inversely associated to healthcare expenditures related to DM control. The aim of this
study was to describe healthcare diabetic-related expenditures and analyze the associations with Body
Mass Index (BMI), Physical Activity Level (PAL), and walking habit among the elderly Brazilians.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was carried out on a population-based study (SABE Study) in Brazil.
Healthcare expenditures were estimated for the medicine prescriptions, outpatient service and
hospitalization. The sample was classified according to BMI, the PAL, and according to weekly frequency
of walking habit.The annual healthcare expenditures were estimated, and the multiple logistic
regression was used to analyze the associations between variables.
Results: The sample included 295 elderly diabetics, with a mean age 70 years. The excess weight
group presented significantly higher annual expenditures with medicine prescriptions, hospitalization,
and outpatient services. Absence of walking habit was related to higher costs and inversely associated
to higher expenditures to medicine prescriptions (OR 2.82, IC95% 1.48 - 5.40) and hospitalizations
(OR 5.79, IC95% 1.10 - 10.93), independent of BMI, sex, age and the presence of hypertension.
Conclusion: BMI and insufficient PAL were associated to higher public expenditures related to DM
control in elderly people. Walking habit was inversely associated to healthcare expenditures on behalf
of the diabetes control among Brazilian elderly population.