Study shows sharp rise in cost of treating diabetes nationwide

The annual cost of diabetes in medical expenditures and lost productivity climbed from $98 billion in 1997 to $132 billion in 2002, according to a study by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) published in the March issue of Diabetes Care. The direct medical costs of diabetes more than doubled in that time, from $44 billion in 1997 to $91.8 billion in 2002. The study’s findings were announced jointly today by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and American Diabetes Association President Francine R. Kaufman, M.D. “Diabetes continues to be a huge financial burden on patients, their families and society, a burden that continues to grow in parallel with the obesity and diabetes epidemics in this country,” Secretary Thompson said.From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:STUDY SHOWS SHARP RISE IN THE COST OF DIABETES NATIONWIDE

HHS, American Diabetes Association Highlight Prevention To Reduce Diabetes’ Impact
The annual cost of diabetes in medical expenditures and lost productivity climbed from $98 billion in 1997 to $132 billion in 2002, according to a study by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) published in the March issue of Diabetes Care. The direct medical costs of diabetes more than doubled in that time, from $44 billion in 1997 to $91.8 billion in 2002.

The study’s findings were announced jointly today by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and American Diabetes Association President Francine R. Kaufman, M.D.

“Diabetes continues to be a huge financial burden on patients, their families and society, a burden that continues to grow in parallel with the obesity and diabetes epidemics in this country,” Secretary Thompson said. “We must all work to fight this disease that touches so many of our daily lives. Fighting diabetes through research and public education on new treatments and prevention is one of our top priorities at the Department of Health and Human Services.”

According to the study, the nation spends $13,243 on each person with diabetes, compared to $2,560 per person for people who don’t have diabetes. After adjusting for differences in age, sex, and race/ethnicity between people with and without diabetes, the study found that people with diabetes incur medical expenses that are about 2.4 times higher. The figures take into account spending by individuals, employers, insurers and government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. No cost estimates were projected for the nearly six million people believed to have diabetes but who have not yet been diagnosed.

“Diabetes imposes a substantial cost burden to society and, in particular, to those individuals with diabetes and their families,” Dr. Kaufman said. “Eliminating or reducing the health problems caused by diabetes through factors such as better access to preventive care, more widespread diagnosis, more intensive disease management, and the advent of new medical technologies could significantly improve the quality of life for people with diabetes and their families while at the same time potentially reducing national expenditures for health care services and increasing productivity in the U.S. economy.”

The study also found:

Direct medical expenditures of $91.8 billion included $23.2 billion for diabetes care, $24.6 billion for chronic diabetes-related complications and $44.1 billion for excess prevalence of general medical conditions.

Indirect costs resulting from lost work days, restricted activity days, mortality and permanent disabilities due to diabetes totaled $39.8 billion.

Cardiovascular disease is the most costly complication of diabetes, accounting for more than $17.6 billion of the $91.8 billion annual direct medical costs for diabetes in 2002.
HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 17 million Americans have diabetes, including many who are unaware of their condition. In addition, an estimated 16 million additional Americans have pre-diabetes and can reduce their risks of developing the disease by losing a modest amount of weight and increasing their activity levels.

To help reduce the burden of diabetes across the nation, HHS has teamed up with the private sector to develop a comprehensive online resource kit addressing diabetes in the workplace. Diabetes at Work is the first online resource to address diabetes in the work place that is specifically designed for top-level managers, occupational health providers, benefits and human resource managers and employees.

A new Web site, www.diabetesatwork.org, helps companies assess their need for diabetes education and management at their worksites, provides guidance on choosing a diabetes friendly health plan, and more than 30 lesson plans and fact sheets that promote diabetes education management among employees. The Web site is hosted by the Washington Business Group on Health (WBGH) and was developed in collaboration with the National Diabetes Education Program Business and Managed Care Work Group, the National Business Coalition on Health and the American Association of Health Plans.

Diabetes Care, published by ADA, is the leading peer-reviewed journal of clinical research into the nation’s sixth leading cause of death. Diabetes also is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, as well as the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic amputations.

Support for the new study was provided by ADA, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health within HHS), and the ADA Industry Advisory Council, a standing advisory committee of the ADA comprised and led by industry representatives involved in diabetes care and management. Companies providing support included: Abbott Laboratories, MediSense Products; AstraZeneca; Aventis Pharmaceuticals; BD Consumer Healthcare; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Eli Lilly and Company; GlaxoSmithKline; LifeScan, Inc.; Medtronic MiniMed; Merck & Co., Inc.; Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals; Pfizer Inc; Roche Diagnostics; and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

More information about diabetes and access to diabetes education materials is available through HHS’ National Diabetes Education Program at http://www.ndep.nih.gov and through the American Diabetes Association at http://www.diabetes.org.

Broadcast Editors: Audio soundbites from this event will be available on the HHS Web site after 5 p.m. EST. Please link to http://www.hhs.gov/news/broadcast.

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