ADA study: Diabetes costs jump 41% from 2007

Thursday, March 7, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The costs associated with diabetes, including medical care and lost productivity, rose from $174 billion in 2007 to $245 billion in 2012, a 41% increase, according to a new study by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). 

As part of the study, titled “Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012,” researchers found that the primary driver of rising costs is the increased prevalence of diabetes in the U.S. population.

“When it comes to the rising costs of diabetes, one of the key factors explaining the increase is that there are many more people that are now being treated for diabetes in the U.S.,” said Robert Ratner, MD, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer, American Diabetes Association.

Rising costs associated with diabetes will likely be a continuing trend: Ratner added that recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have the disease in 2050.

Researchers found that medical expenditures for people with diabetes are 2.3 times higher than for those without the disease. They found that most of the cost for diabetes—62.4%—is paid for by government insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. The rest is paid for by private insurance (34.4%) or by the uninsured (3.2%).

In assessing the costs associated with diabetes, the study looked at cost breakdowns along various demographic lines (total per-capita health expenditures are higher among women than men), as well as state-by-state data (California has the largest population with diabetes and thus the highest costs, at $27.6 billion). 

The ADA’s study, which will be published in April in the journal Diabetes Care, draws on data from the U.S. Census, as well as from claims filed in the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled.