The expansion of Medicaid in certain states is associated with an increase in the number of individuals being diagnosed with diabetes and receiving early treatment, researchers say.

The number of Medicaid patients with newly diagnosed diabetes increased by 23% from 2013 to 2014 in the 26 states that expanded Medicaid, compared to 0.4% in the states that did not, judging from an analysis of data from a national private clinical laboratory database, encompassing 434,288 patients with newly diagnosed diabetes.

Across 50 states and the District of Columbia, there was an overall increase of 13% in the number of Medicaid-enrolled patients newly diagnosed with diabetes, which was similar regardless of age or gender, according to a paper published online in Diabetes Care.

“Beyond diabetes, the trends we observed in the current study are likely to affect diagnosis of other chronic medical conditions such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and chronic kidney disease,” wrote Dr. Harvey W. Kaufman of Quest Diagnostics, and his coauthors (Diabetes Care 2015;38:833-7 [doi:10.2337/dc14-2334]).

One author reported research support, consultancies, and lecture fees from private industry. No other conflicts of interest were declared.