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U.S. Preventive Medicine Says Prevention Can Keep Diabetes Costs From Rising
Date:10/28/2008

DALLAS, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A new research study just published in a major national journal reports the annual costs for treating Type 2 diabetes almost doubled over the last six years. But experts at U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), the leader in disease prevention services, say the actual costs are far higher and that more can be done through prevention to keep these costs low and more people healthy.

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"According to the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, diabetes drug spending has nearly doubled in the U.S. in just six years," said Dr. Sami Beg, Associate Medical Director of U.S. Preventive Medicine. "This obviously is very concerning, but we also have to keep in mind that the total costs associated with diabetes are actually much higher."

The study reported that drug costs increased from $6.7 billion in 2001 to $12.5 billion in 2007.

"Earlier this year an American Diabetes Association study indicated that the total estimated cost of diabetes in 2007 alone was more than $174 billion," said Dr. Beg. "This included $116 billion in excess medical expenditures and $58 billion in reduced national productivity."

The American Diabetes Association report also showed that those diagnosed with diabetes average $11,744 in expenditures per year, of which $6,649 are attributed to the disease. On average, people with diagnosed diabetes, have medical expenditures that are more than twice what they would be in the absence of diabetes.

"Diabetes is a disease that can be kept in check in most cases by simply practicing prevention," said Dr. Beg. "The new study just reminds us that costs associated with the disease will continue to sky rocket if we don't turn things around. Diabetes alone should make us question the sick care system we have in place."

Dr. Beg recommends making people aware of their risks of the disease through a comprehensive health risk assessment and a lab test, followed by educating at risk individuals on lifestyle modifications and other healthy behaviors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that of the 23 million Americans with diabetes about 5 million don't know they have the disease. New evidence also indicates that at least 57 million people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes and are at risk of developing diabetes, noted Dr. Beg.

"Oftentimes we hear a tiny but vocal group who discount preventive medicine as a solution to the health care crisis saying that early testing and screenings won't save money," said Dr. Beg. "But if we take diabetes as an example, screen the population at risk and focus on them, we can significantly bring down the associated healthcare costs."

"When more than 25 percent of our population is at risk of all the negative and expensive outcomes associated with a disease like diabetes, over-diagnosis and increased utilization of medical services through preventive screenings is shortsighted. Instead we need to continue to use tools at our disposal to make people at risk of preventable diseases aware and help those with diseases prevent further complications and suffering," concluded Dr. Beg.

About U.S. Preventive Medicine(R):

U.S. Preventive Medicine(R), a privately-owned global prevention services company with clients nationwide and the United Kingdom, provides primary, secondary and tertiary clinical prevention services to government, employers and consumers that are data-driven and outcomes-oriented. Company products include the world's first preventive health benefit, The Prevention Plan(TM), available to buy or test drive at http://www.USPreventiveMedicine.com and http://www.ThePreventionPlan.com .


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SOURCE U.S. Preventive Medicine
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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