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Drug Combo Could Lower Diabetes Complications and Costs
Date:4/27/2008

And, No-Cost, Noninvasive Tool Detects Risk for Undiagnosed Diabetes

Plus: Diabetes-Affected Pregnancies Double in Past Seven Years

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A highly detailed mathematical simulation model can help people with undiagnosed diabetes identify whether they likely have the disease and can predict ways for dramatically reducing the costs and complications associated with this now epidemic illness, according to studies being published April 28 in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

The May issue also includes a study showing that diabetes, which has been steadily rising in prevalence for decades, now affects an alarming number of pregnancies in the United States.

Model Predicts Pill Combination Could Save Money and Lives

Giving most people with diabetes an inexpensive combination of medications could dramatically reduce the number of diabetes-related complications and deaths in America and ultimately save money, according to a highly detailed mathematical model developed to simulate human physiology and health care systems.

The Archimedes Model, originally developed by researchers at Kaiser Permanente, was used to make predictions in three areas: What would happen if diabetes were cured, if all people with diabetes reached their treatment goals, or if the disease were treated more aggressively?

Not surprisingly, curing diabetes would dramatically reduce the risk of heart attacks in the United States (by 40 percent) and prevent nearly 4.5 million deaths over a 30-year period. It would also reduce health care costs by a whopping $444 billion over the same period of time.

Absent a cure, providing optimal care -- bringing 100 percent of those with diabetes to their treatment goals -- would save $325 billion in health costs and add 3.55 million life years to people who have diabetes today. Adding a "polypill" to the usual care given people with diabetes -- the
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SOURCE American Diabetes Association
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