Thursday, March 14, 2013 Cost of Diabetes Increases 41% in 5 Years The total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $245 billion in 2012 from $174 billion in 2007, when the cost was last examined, says the American Diabetes Association. This figure represents a 41% increase over a 5-year period. The study, Economic Costs of Diabetes in the US in 2012, includes direct medical costs of $176 billion, which reflects costs for hospital and emergency care, office visits, and medications; and indirect medical costs totaling $69 billion. Indirect costs include absenteeism, reduced productivity, unemployment caused by diabetes-related disability, and lost productivity due to early mortality. In addition, the study found that: Medical expenditures for people with diabetes are 2.3 times higher than for those without diabetes. The primary driver of increased costs is the increasing prevalence of diabetes in the US population. Despite the introduction of new classes of medication for the treatment of diabetes, antidiabetic agents and diabetes supplies continue to account for only 12% of medical expenditures in both 2007 and 2012. The research also examined costs along gender, racial and ethnic lines, and included state-by-state data. Key findings include: Most of the cost for diabetes care in the US, 62.4%, is provided by government insurance. The rest is paid for by private insurance (34.4%) or by the uninsured (3.2%). Total per-capita health expenditures are higher among women than men ($8,331 vs $7,458). Total per-capita health care expenditures are lower among Hispanics ($5,930) and higher among non-Hispanic blacks ($9,540) than among non-Hispanic whites ($8,101). The per-capita cost of medical care attributed to diabetes was $6,649 in 2007 and $7,900 in 2012, a 19% increase. Among states, California has the largest population with diabetes and thus the highest costs, at $27.6 billion. Although Florida's total population is fourth among states behind California, Texas, and New York, it is second in costs at $18.9 billion. The study will be published in the upcoming April issue of Diabetes Care.