Diabetes mellilitus healthcare cost in the United States in 2007 for both direct and indirect cost, amounts to around $174 billion. The direct medical costs were $116 billion with the indirect cost being $58 billion. The direct medical costs include $27 billion for diabetes care, $58 billion for complications from chronic diabetes and $31 million for excess medical costs. Included in the indirect cost figures are reduced productivity, absenteeism, unemployment disability related from the disease and loss of productivity due to early deaths.
This increase in the cost shows three causes – the growth in diabetes in the United States, medical costs rising faster than general inflation and improvements in methods of cost estimates.
It is estimated that 23.6 million Americans have diabetes with over a third being undiagnosed.
Any chronic health problem causes a great amount of expense but because diabetes affects many body systems and requires daily therapy, the cost of this disease adds up faster. Most of the health care cost is in the rise of type 2 diabetes which years earlier was not as prevalent in the younger generations as it is today. Type 2 diabetes years ago was mostly prevalent in older Americans but it is now seen in younger and younger population and in greater numbers in the United States. Many believe that this is due to the lack of regular exercise and the rise in obesity in the population as a whole.
The daily cost of managing diabetes is expensive with the cost of insulin pumps, glucose monitoring supplies, syringes etc averaging around $5000 per person annually. But the highest cost is from the treatment of complications from type 2 diabetes with the average diabetic paying around $10,000 per year to treat some type of complication each year.
No matter which type of diabetes a person has, 1 or type 2, it is given that the diabetic will face ever rising annual direct and indirect costs. This includes medications and insulin which cost will not decrease, but there are ways diabetics can reduce the cost by prevention of complications. This means that the diabetic must take responsibility for eating correctly, regularly testing blood glucose levels and regularly exercising. These are just a few cost effective ways to manage this disease and reduce the annual cost.
This is where the education of newly diagnosed diabetics comes into play. Teaching these people with this chronic disease on the ways to be self responsible for managing their disease, can greatly reduce the annual cost. Education should include good dietary habits, exercise care plans, importance of foot care, eye care and good dental hygiene.
Diabetes mellilitus health care cost in United States will continue to grow with our ever increasing sedate population. This together with continue rise in obesity presents a continually rising healthcare cost.
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