The total direct and indirect costs of diabetes jumped over 25% from 2012 to 2017, which was enough to make it “the most costly chronic illness in the country,” the American Diabetes Association said.

The estimated total economic burden of diabetes went from an inflation-adjusted estimate of $261 billion in 2012 to $327 billion – $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in indirect costs such as absenteeism, reduced productivity, and premature mortality – in 2017, according to a new report from the ADA published in Diabetes Care .

The $237 billion in direct medical costs attributed to diabetes in 2017 included $34.6 billion for insulin and other mediations and supplies to directly treat diabetes, $71.2 billion for other prescription medications, $69.7 billion for inpatient care, and $30 billion for physician office visits. The total medical cost incurred by the 24.7 million Americans with diabetes was $414 billion, the ADA reported.

“One of every four health care dollars is incurred by someone with diagnosed diabetes, and one of every seven health care dollars is spent directly treating diabetes and its complications,” the ADA said in a written statement.

The study used data from a large number of sources, including the American Community Survey, the OptumInsight de-identified Normative Health Information database, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, and the Medicare 5% sample Standard Analytical Files. All cost estimates were extrapolated to the 2017 U.S. population and adjusted to 2017 dollars.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care. 2018 Mar 22. doi: 10.2337/dci18-0007.


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