What Diabetes Costs You, Even If You Don't Have The Disease
Diabetes is an expensive disease to treat, costing the United States $244 billion in 2012, according to an analysis of the disease's economic burden.
When the loss of productivity due to illness and disability is added in, the bill comes to $322 billion, or $1,000 a year for each American, including those without diabetes. That's 48 percent higher than the same benchmark in 2007; not a healthy trend.
The increase is being driven by a growing and aging population, the report finds, as well as more common risk factors like obesity, and higher medical costs.
For a person diagnosed with diabetes, the average economic burden was $10,970 a year. Caring for a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes cost $5,800 a year. Undiagnosed diabetes costs $4,030 a case, and prediabetes, or having abnormal blood sugar that doesn't met the diagnostic criteria for diabetes, $510. Those last two reflect the fact that people with undiagnosed diabetes or elevated glucose tend to go to the doctor more often.
Costs were generally higher in older people, not surprising since it can take years for the disease's more devastating complications, like heart attacks, blindness and nerve damage, to develop.
About 29 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 8 million of them haven't yet been diagnosed. Another 86 million, or 37 percent of adults, have prediabetes, which is more common as people age. And though the symptoms of gestational diabetes usually recede when a woman gives birth, both she and her child are at higher risk for Type 2 Continue reading