Thursday, January 24, 2008

The cost of diabetes

Yesterday, "Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2007" was released in the journal Diabetes Care. Alot of the media outlets picked this story up and I even received a call from my dad last night asking if I had seen it.

I had.

The study is an update of a previous cost study published five years ago and provides information about diabetes costs in the U.S. The new cost study finds that the total cost of diabetes in the U.S. in 2007 was $174 billion, up from $132 billion in 2002. Direct costs due to treating diabetes and its complications amount to $116 billion; indirect costs attributed to lost productivity amount to $58 billion.

What does that mean for us as Americans, and us as people with diabetes? Alot. So much money is being spent on the treatment of diabetes and its complications, but we hear little about where the money is going in terms of research. What would happen if that amount of money would be given to researchers who are searching for a cure or provided to educators in order for people to have a true understanding of what living with diabetes means, how they can prevent Type 2 diabetes, etc?

According to the study, people with diagnosed diabetes have medical expenditures that are approximately 2.3 times higher than the expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes. This is something that I've totally noticed in my short time on my own-worse than my parent's- insurance, especially compared to my friends who just graduated and are perfectly healthy. They're not worried about when payday is in order to get supplies or making sure that they have a stockpile of test strips in their closet during the period where they are between jobs so they don't have to pay the full price.

I'm taken back by the numbers because they are so big that it's almost hard to wrap my mind around.

What do we do to reduce these costs?


TDavis said...

Hey Allison...recently went private with my blog. If you want access, email me.

Kevin said...

Hi Allison,

I just found your blog from Amy over at DiabetesMine . No good reason for it to have taken me so long (aside from my being rather busy lately).

Anyway, just wanted to say "hi" to a local diabetes blogger (I live/work in DC, too).

Andrea said...

isn't type 2 diabetes at least somewhat affected by weight and diet. . . I know my mom's doctor recommended she lose some weight in an effort to avoid being put on insulin.

I think the easy option for any medical ailment is always to medicate first and last, which is one of the reason health care costs are exploding.

PS. You should join the 20 something blog network!

pinkalmond said...

interesting information.

Bob Hawkinson said...

I absolutely get the math. I agree with your belief that this could bankrupt a health care system if the numbers continue to grow. As a type I diabetic for over 44 years, I can tell you that I know my cost of care is much more than 2.3 times a non diabetic. I'll bet it's 3.5-4.5 X

Sharon said...


7.9% of the United States population is suffering from a form of Diabetes. That is over 23 million people! Now, more than ever, it is important for organizations such as yourself. We here, at (a site dedicated towards disease and their treatments), believe in the work you do and would like to coincide for the fight against diabetes. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. Separately, we can make advancements, but together we can find a cure.
If you need more information please email me back with the subject line as your URL.

Thank You,
Sharon Vegoe