Friday, January 15, 2010

Diabetes' Cost to US: $218 Billion a Year

The national economic burden of diabetes has reached $218 billion, according to a study in Health Affairs. The authors have created a Cost of Diabetes Model that combines information from peer-reviewed literature, analyses of national survey and medical claims databases, and government statistics.

For 2007, they calculated that the national economic burden of diabetes and pre-diabetes was a staggering $218 billion, which included $153 billion in medical costs and $65 billion in reduced productivity.  This translated to approximately $700 per person. The $65 billion estimated productivity loss associated with diabetes came from higher levels of absenteeism, working at less than capacity, and early mortality.

“The burden of diabetes to society is even higher when one considers intangible costs from reduced quality of life…underscore[ing] the urgency to better understand the cost-mitigation potential of prevention and treatment strategies,” the authors wrote.  They said the study shows that lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) can help delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 17.5 million people were diagnosed with that disease in 2007; another 6.3 million adults are living with undiagnosed diabetes.


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