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.
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?