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Americans Who Don't Know They Have Diabetes Incur $18 Billion in Health Expenses Each Year
Date:5/20/2009

25 Percent Unaware They Have the Disease; Undiagnosed Diabetes Costs $2,864 Per Person Annually In Medical Services, Lost Productivity

WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans living with undiagnosed diabetes incur an estimated $18 billion in healthcare expenditures each year, or $2,864 per person in medical services and lost productivity from diabetes-related complications, according to a new study initiated by the National Changing Diabetes(R) Program and published in the journal, Population Health Management.

Undiagnosed diabetes represents 8.3 percent of the $218 billion cost of diabetes and pre-diabetes estimated for 2007. "For the first time we are beginning to get a sense of the total economic burden of diabetes to our health care system and economy," said Timothy Dall of the Lewin Group, which conducted the study. "The cost is particularly astonishing, given that a significant number of diabetes cases and related complications are largely preventable."

About 25 percent of the 23.6 million Americans living with diabetes are not aware that they have the disease, according to the study, published in the April issue. Data also show the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes increased with age (until age 70) and was more common in men.

"These data demonstrate the urgent need for policies that encourage the early diagnosis of diabetes so that the disease can be managed aggressively before it leads to costly complications," said Dana Haza, Senior Director of the National Changing Diabetes(R) Program, an initiative created by Novo Nordisk to drive change in diabetes education, treatment and policy at the national and local level.

The cost of diagnosed diabetes was estimated at $174 billion in 2007. Pre-diabetes was associated with $25 billion in health care expenditures, and gestational diabetes resulted in $623 million in costs.


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SOURCE National Changing Diabetes Program
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