How Much Does Diabetes Cost in the United States?

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In Utah, about 10% of the population has diabetes. The actual number can be even higher. After all, this metabolic condition is sneaky. Many remain undiagnosed until they develop complications. Working with a specialist in diabetes in Provo is also essential for economic reasons. It is not a cheap disease.

The Cost of Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has a comprehensive infographic highlighting the staggering costs of the disease. Here are the facts:

  • Diagnosed diabetes costs over $300 billion annually. From 2012 to 2017, the expenditures rose by 26%.
  • People with diabetes spend 2.3 times more than those who don’t have it.
  • At least $1 in every $7 goes toward the treatment and management of the disease.

When you break down the spending, hospital inpatient care takes the bulk at 30%. That’s alongside prescription medications. Insulin, for instance, already costs over $5,000 in 2016. Around 15% of the costs are for diabetic supplies and anti-diabetic agents. Patients spend only 13% for physician visits.

Diabetes also has indirect costs. These include $3.3 billion for absenteeism and $26.9 billion for reduced productivity. Nearly $2 billion is due to lost productivity due to premature mortality.

People with untreated diabetes can develop complications later on. One of these is chronic kidney disease (CKD). It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the filtering units of the organs. Around 23% of CKD patients also have diabetes, according to Clinical Diabetes. The attributable costs for the disease, meanwhile, are just as high.

In 2013, the total medical costs for Medicare patients were already $50.4 billion. The US Renal Data System didn’t include people who have end-stage renal disease. Hemodialysis in the United States is $90,000 per patient each year. Kidney transplant reaches over $16,000 during the first year.

How Can Doctors Help in Reducing Diabetes Costs?

Type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease. Even if you already have it, you can still manage it, avoid complications, and, in turn, spend less on your condition. Doctors can help you in different areas, such as diet.

Diet is one of the critical components of diabetes management. It goes beyond avoiding added sugars. For example, people with diabetes might not have to remove meat entirely from their meal plans. This is according to a 2017 Singapore study.


In the research, they found an association between excessive red meat consumption and high diabetes risk. The team, though, discovered another information. The link depends on the amount of heme iron present in the meat. It means decreasing your intake of this food product can still manage diabetes.

Doctors can also help you manage stress, especially among men. A 2013 European research showed those who reported significant stress also have 45% increased odds of diabetes.

In a later study by Rice University, this association can be due to the brain’s inability to manage anxiety. The body’s natural response might be to secrete more insulin or store glucose as fats.

Diabetes these days is no longer a death sentence. Many can still experience quality of life and cost savings. You can, too, but that is if you learn to manage it.

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