Let’s Make Diabetes a National Priority

The National Changing Diabetes Program (NCDP) is an organization working within the healthcare community to elevate diabetes on the national health agenda and improve the lives of people with this devastating disease. Recently, the NCDP commissioned a new study on the growing influence of diabetes on the U.S. economy and population. The NCDP also is taking steps to reduce the increasing impact of diabetes on the United States.

The study found that diabetes costs the United States an estimated $218 billion through higher medical costs and lost productivity. This new estimate is on a par with the costs associated with cancer ($228.1 billion) and other chronic diseases. The new study, which will be released in Population Health Management, includes the costs for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In addition, the study estimated the costs of gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes, and undiagnosed diabetes. Prior studies did not examine the unique costs associated with each type of diabetes.

In response to the results, the NCDP has launched an electronic petition to urge Congress and the Obama administration to address the growing effect of this disease and make diabetes a national priority. The petition urges the creation of a national Diabetes Coordinator, a new senior-level federal position. This diabetes expert would be responsible for working across agencies and with the private sector to prevent diabetes, reduce its complications, and ensure that tax dollars are spent effectively to address this disease. In effect, a national Diabetes Coordinator would lower the  burden of diabetes on our economy.

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