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Nationwide cost of diabetes up $3.4 billion

"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 Medicare.

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."

from the HHS Weekly Report

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