"Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and American
Diabetes Association President Francine R. Kaufman, M.D. announced that
the annual cost of diabetes in medical expenditures and lost
productivity climbed from $98 billion in 1997 to $132 billion in 2002.
The direct medical costs of diabetes more than doubled in that time,
from $44 billion in 1997 to $91.8 billion in 2002.
The figures were revealed in a study by the American Diabetes
Association (ADA) published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.
'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. The study also found that people with diabetes incur medical
expenses that are about 2.4 times higher than those of people without
diabetes. The figures take into account spending by individuals,
employers, insurers and government programs such as Medicaid and
The study also found:
- Direct medical expenditures of $91.8 billion included $23.2 billion
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
mortality and permanent disabilities due to diabetes totaled $39.8
- Cardiovascular disease is the most costly complication of diabetes,
accounting for more than $17.6 billion of the $91.8 billion annual
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
In addition, an estimated 16 million additional Americans have
and can reduce their risks of developing the disease by losing a modest
amount of weight and increasing their activity levels."