There is no indication that the rate of increase in the number of diabetes cases is slowing. "We've seen some studies indicate there may be some sort of plateauing in the rate of increase in overweight and obesity in this country, and there is a fairly strong correlation between that and diabetes," Petersen says. "But arguably diabetes follows the other, and it's not quite clear how much we are plateauing on overweight and obesity. I think we are talking many years out before the increase in Type 2 diabetes flattens out or even slows down."
The study, which details costs along gender, racial and ethnic lines, and on a state-by-state basis, also found that:
Petersen says the money spent on diabetes could be significantly higher because the Association study does not include estimates on the costs of medical care for people with pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes.
"Bottom line, certainly there are significant additional costs beyond our cost study for our cost study for those two things," he says. Petersen says the study does not distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.