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Diabetes Costs Hit $245B in 2012

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 13, 2013

The nearly 22.3 million Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes cost $245 billion in medical care and lost productivity in 2012, a 41% increase from the $174 billion estimate in 2007, the American Diabetes Association said.

The Association-commissioned study, Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012, reported that five million more American adults and children were diagnosed with diabetes in the five years since the last estimate was released, a 27% increase from the 17.5 million diagnosed cases in 2007. Another 79 million Americans now have pre-diabetes, which puts them at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

The price tag includes $176 billion in direct medical costs for hospital and emergency care, office visits, and medications. The indirect medical costs were estimated at $69 billion to account for absenteeism, reduced productivity, unemployment caused by diabetes-related disability and lost productivity due to early mortality.

The per-capita cost of medical care attributed to diabetes was $6,649 in 2007 and $7,900 in 2012, a 19% increase. Overall, medical care costs in the U.S. rose by a comparable amount during the same time period, which suggests that the increasing cost is driven by the rapidly growing number of diabetics, the report said.

"The nearly five million more people with diagnosed diabetes [are] the driving force behind the increased costs, without question," Association spokesman Matt Petersen told HealthLeaders Media.

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