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BACKGROUND: The Acarbose Cardiovascular Evaluation (ACE) trial (ISRCTN91899513) evaluated the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor acarbose, compared with placebo, in 6522 patients with coronary heart disease and impaired glucose tolerance in China and showed a reduced incidence of diabetes. We assessed the within-trial medical resource use and costs, and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). METHODS: Resource use data were collected prospectively within the ACE trial. Hospitalizations, medications, and outpatient visits were valued using Chinese unit costs. Medication use was measured in drug days, with cardiovascular and diabetes drugs summed across the trial by participant. Health-related quality of life was captured using the EuroQol-5 Dimension-3 Level questionnaire. Regression analyses were used to compare resource use, costs, and QALYs, accounting for regional variation. Costs and QALYs were discounted at 3% yearly. RESULTS: Hospitalizations were 6% higher in the acarbose arm during the trial (rate ratio 1.06, p = .009), but there were no significant differences in total inpatient days (rate ratio 1.04, p = .30). Total costs per participant, including study drug, were significantly higher for acarbose (¥ [Yuan] 56 480, £6213), compared with placebo (¥48 079, £5289; mean ratio 1.18, p 

Original publication




Journal article


J Diabetes

Publication Date



acarbose, costs, diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, prediabetes, resource use