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U.S. Spent $245 billion for Diabetes Care in 2012

Update Date: Mar 06, 2013 02:29 PM EST
Diabetes
Intensively lowering blood pressure has a long-lasting effect in preventing heart attacks, strokes and deaths, but intensive blood sugar control doesn't produce those benefits, according to a new research. (Photo : Flickr/bodytel)

Diabetes continues to afflict more and more people in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association, roughly 8.3 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes and that number has been growing. Consequently, the amount of money the U.S. spends on diabetes care has increased significantly over the years. Research reveals that diabetes costs the U.S. $245 billion in 2012, a huge jump from 2007's total of $174 billion. This 41 percent increase in costs stresses the importance of preventing diabetes by spreading awareness about the disease and promoting healthier lifestyles and dietary habits. If diabetes continues to rise, the U.S. will have to spend more and more money on this preventable disease.

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The findings revealed that $176 billion of the $245 billion was due to direct medical costs, which include hospital care, emergency care, medications, and office visits. Indirect costs, such as working absences, lowered productivity, and unemployment due to deaths from the disease added up to $69 billion.

"It is important to note that while treating diabetes is expensive, it is the fact that the prevalence of the disease is increasing dramatically," Dr. Robert Ratner pointed out. "Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050. These numbers are alarming, and further highlight the need for our nation to address this epidemic." Ratner is the chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association. The association commissioned the study.

These statistics not only reveal the higher numbers of people who need diabetes treatment, it also shows the burden that diabetes places on the economy and on people's wallets. People with diabetes have medical costs that are on average 2.3 times higher than people without the disease. Furthermore, roughly 62 percent of the costs for diabetes care come from government insurance, which includes Medicare, Medicaid and the military. 34 percent of the costs are paid by private insurance and 3 percent by uninsured patients.

The numbers also revealed that the cost of diabetes care was $6,649 in 2007 and is now $7,900 in 2012 per person. The statistics also showed that per person costs tend to be higher for women than men, and significantly lower for Hispanics when compared to whites and African Americans. California was also noted to be state with the highest costs, contributing $27.6 billion. The state of Florida spends $18.9 billion treating patients with diabetes.

The findings will be published in the April issue of the journal Diabetes Care

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