The economic burden of diabetes was estimated at $245 billion in the United States in 2012, according to a scientific statement published online ahead of print in Diabetes Care.

In an effort to estimate the economic burden of diabetes for 2012, Wenya Yang, from the Lewin Group Inc. in Falls Church, Va., and colleagues from the American Diabetes Association combined demographics of the U.S. population in 2012 with diabetes prevalence, epidemiological data, health care costs, and economic data.

The researchers found that, for 2012, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes was $245 billion, including $176 billion and $69 billion in direct medical costs and reduced productivity, respectively. Hospital inpatient care accounted for 43% of the total medical costs and was the largest component of medical expenditures, with other components including prescription medications to treat diabetes complications (18%), anti-diabetic agents and diabetes supplies (12%), physician office visits (9%), and nursing/residential facility stays (8%). The average medical expenditures for those with diabetes were $13,700 per year, $7,900 of which was attributed to diabetes. Medical expenditure was approximately 2.3 times higher for those with diagnosed diabetes than it would be in the absence of diabetes. Care for those with diabetes accounted for more than one-fifth of U.S. healthcare dollars, with more than half directly linked to diabetes. Indirect costs included increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, inability to work, and lost productive capacity due to early mortality.

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“This study highlights the large economic burden of diabetes and its complications on the individual and the health care system,” according to the authors.