Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes Cost the U.S. $218 Billion in 2007: En Route to $336 Billion by 2034

A study commissioned by healthcare company Novo Nordisk has reported that the cost of diabetes and pre-diabetes to the U.S. economy in 2007 was $218 billion. The study, conducted by The Lewin Group, projected that by 2034, the two conditions will cost the economy $336 billion per year.

The study looked at not only direct medical costs, such as medicines, monitoring and dosing equipment, and visits to doctors, clinics, and hospitals, but also indirect costs created by absenteeism and losses in productivity related to diabetes. It estimated direct costs at $153 billion, while indirect costs were $65 billion.

The $218 billion figure, said a spokesman for The Lewin Group, amounts to a $700 “hidden tax” on every person living in the United States.

The study further broke down diabetes and pre-diabetes costs in 2007 by categories of the disease:

  • Diagnosed type 2 diabetes: $174.4 billion
  • Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes: $18 billion
  • Type 1 diabetes: $14.9 billion
  • Pre-diabetes: $25 billion
  • Gestational diabetes: $636 million

One telling statistic was the breakdown in cost-per-year per patient:

  • A person with type 1 diabetes: $15,000
  • A person with type 2 diabetes: $10,000
  • A person with pre-diabetes: $443

The study concluded that the best public health policy would be to focus on high-risk patients who have not yet acquired the disease and encourage them to adopt the lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of developing diabetes. In one study, the Diabetes Prevention Program, those changes, which include moderate weight loss and increased physical activity, reduced the risk of diabetes by as much as 58 percent.

Novo Nordisk commissioned the study through its National Changing Diabetes® Program (NCDP).

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Source: PRNewswire press release