By: Janet Hunt
With all the talk about healthcare, how much it costs this country, and whether it is a basic right or a privilege, I thought I would take look at the costs of Type 2 Diabetes. It is a disease that some studies indicate is preventable by lifestyle changes in as many as 90% of all cases.
From information published by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and ADA (American Diabetic Association), the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity. These costs are broken down as follows:
- Hospital inpatient care (43% of the total medical cost)
- Prescription medications to treat the complications of diabetes (18%)
- Antidiabetic medications and diabetes supplies (12%)
- Physician office visits (9%)
- Nursing/residential facility stays (8%)
- Other (10%)
People with diagnosed diabetes have average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year, of which about $7,900 is attributed to diabetes. On average, people with diagnosed diabetes have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be without the diagnosis of diabetes. Then there are the indirect costs:
- Increased absenteeism ($5 billion) for those employed
- Reduced productivity while at work ($20.8 billion)
- Reduced productivity for those not in the labor force ($2.7 billion)
- Inability to work as a result of disease-related disability ($21.6 billion)
- Lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($18.5 billion)
In 2012, an estimated 22.3 million people or 7% of the population in the U.S. were diagnosed with diabetes. It is predicted that one in three people will be diagnosed with diabetes in 2050. With that, it is doubtful that medical costs will decrease.
I am not a politician, but if I were, I would recommend we focus on our lifestyle and what we need to do to reverse this trend. We need greener communities that encourage physical activities. We need school lunches that focus on healthy choices. We could tax the unhealthy foods that lead to diabetes and our incredible health costs to offset these healthcare costs. We could educate people on the true seriousness of diabetes and its costs.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.