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Asia Health Policy Program holds trans-Asian conference on diabetes in Beijing

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A group of participants from the workshop, “Net Value in Diabetes Management,” at Stanford Center at Peking University, March 24, 2017, from left to right: Zheng Yi Lau from the Ministry of Health of Singapore; Chao Quan (University of Hong Kong); Jui-fen Rachel Lu (Chang Gung University); Emily Nguyen, Karen Eggleston, and Katie Hastings (Stanford); and Stefan Ma (Ministry of Health of Singapore).
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Emily Tuong-Vi Nyugen

Emily Tuong-Vi Nguyen, a Stanford student studying human biology, writes about the Asia Health Policy Program’s international conference on diabetes

The Asia Health Policy Program at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center hosted the Net Value in Diabetes Management Workshop in March to discuss progress on an international research collaboration. Research teams from Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States convened at the Stanford Center at Peking University (SCPKU) in Beijing to work on research that compares utilization and spending patterns on diabetes across different countries and to develop a method for measuring the net value of diabetes internationally, based on previous methods discussed in a Eggleston and Newhouse et al. 2009 study with Mayo Clinic Data for Type 2 diabetes.

The research teams from various Asian countries are attempting to calculate the net value of diabetes in those countries by observing the changes in diabetes value and spending. These calculations include monetizing the value of health benefits of new treatments and improvements in health, as well as avoided spending on treatments when prevention was effective, and associated mortality and probability of survival. Previous models used to measure diabetic values and risks, such as the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) risk engine that was created from U.K. data and populations, are not very relevant for Asian populations. The goal is to create separate risk models specifically suited for populations from Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan and South Korea.

During the workshop that spanned two days, the research teams had an opportunity to share updates on their individual projects and to discuss methods and ideas for future collaboration.

On the first day, each research team presented its work, describing data sets and explaining the risk models that were used or developed. Karen Eggleston, director of the Asia Health Policy Program, delivered introductory remarks and shared current progress by the Japan and Netherlands research teams on calculating value and risk for diabetes with data from the Netherlands and Japan. The data sets from those two countries were best estimated by the JJ Risk Engine for the Japan data and the UKPDS model for the Netherlands data.

Chao Quan of the University of Hong Kong presented the risk model used for Hong Kong populations. His work primarily looked at how the UKPDS risk engine predicted risk in Hong Kong populations as compared to a local Hong Kong risk engine and how to best calibrate the Hong Kong risk engine. His next step will be to monetize the value for improved survival in diabetes in Hong Kong. He offered to re-estimate the model using the risk factors available on others’ datasets so that the Hong Kong risk model could potentially be used by other teams as well.

Stefan Ma and Zheng Li Yau of the Ministry of Health of Singapore discussed the 5-year prediction model and statistical methods they used for all-cause mortality of Singaporean individuals with diabetes. Their work is based on Singapore’s extensive administrative and claims data as well as data provided by the national health surveys conducted every six years by the National Health Service of Singapore. The researchers plan to look into how their overall risk model compares with models for specific subpopulations, such as Chinese, Malay and Indian populations in Singapore.

Katherine Hastings from the Stanford University team, led by principal investigator Latha Palaniappan, presented preliminary ideas about measuring cardiovascular risk with the Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk Score in analyses of Stanford health system diabetic patients. The researchers are collaborating with a clinical bioinformatics team at Stanford to use machine learning to expedite the analysis.

Min Yu and Haibin Wu of the Zhejiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention shared results from their analysis of health data collected from community health centers for diabetes management, diabetes surveillance data, cause of death data and insurance claims data that showed relationships between different patient characteristics and insurance types. The researchers then estimated the annual cost of Type 2 diabetes and its complications in Tongxiang province, China.

Hai Fang and Huyang Zhang of Peking University worked with claims data of diabetic patients insured by the New Cooperative Medical Scheme in Beijing, and at the workshop, shared regression analyses on the relationship between outpatient visits and inpatient admissions.

Jianqun Dong of the People’s Republic of China Center for Disease Control and Prevention presented ongoing research about diabetes management in China, including preliminary results of a randomized control trial of diabetes self-management strategies.

Wankyo Chung of Seoul National University shared preliminary estimates of a risk model for mortality among diabetic patients in South Korea and discussed next steps for estimating net value of diabetes management using the detailed clinical and claims data available in South Korea.

On the second day, the workshop concluded with a videoconference between workshop participants in Beijing and collaborators at Stanford Graduate Business School, including Stanford professor Latha Palaniappan and Harvard visiting professor Joseph P. Newhouse, using the Highly Immersive Classroom.

The workshop was a good opportunity for the research teams to discuss preliminary models, to offer each other suggestions regarding research methods, and to discuss the future direction of the international collaboration on the net value of diabetes. All research teams are preparing comparative research papers that will be included in the working paper series of the Asia Health Policy Program. A follow-up event will be held at Stanford in November 2017 in recognition of World Diabetes Day.