Cost of Diabetes Care Continues to Rise

Estimates include prediabetes, gestational diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes care.
Estimates include prediabetes, gestational diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes care.

The cost of diabetes care in the United States has increased 48 percent in recent years, climbing to more than $322 billion annually, according to research published in Diabetes Care.

The estimates include 21 million people with diagnosed diabetes, 8.1 million people with undiagnosed diabetes, about 222,000 pregnant women with gestational diabetes, and 86 million people with prediabetes.

In 2012, excess medical costs and lost productivity associated with diabetes totaled more than $1,000 for every American. That total includes $244 billion in medical costs -- including doctor's office and hospital visits, prescription drugs, and other health conditions such as hypertension and kidney complications -- and $78 billion in lost work productivity. That same year, the cost of prediabetes was $44 billion, while the cost of undiagnosed diabetes was $33 billion.

"These statistics underscore the importance of finding ways to reduce the burden of prediabetes and diabetes through better prevention and treatment," lead investigator Timothy Dall, managing director with IHS Life Sciences of Englewood, Co., said in a news release from the American Diabetes Association. IHS Life Sciences analyzes cost data for the health care industry.

"The costs, in both financial and quality-of-life terms, are exceptionally high, and in many cases could be preventable," Dall added.

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