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  • 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.

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