Apr 09 2015

The True Cost of Diabetes Featured

The CDC estimates that 29.1 million people (9.3% of the U.S. population) have diabetes. We’ve been hearing for years about the obesity epidemic in our country, and with that comes a host of other related health problems such as this. But of those people who have diabetes, 27.8% of them are undiagnosed.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes…

·         You can expect to pay about 2.3 times more in healthcare expenses than if you didn’t have the disease.

·         Your average yearly medical cost will be about $13,700; $7,900 of which is attributed specifically to diabetes.

·         You will spend more time in doctors’ offices, picking up prescriptions and testing supplies, and monitoring your health.

Diabetes costs us nationally $245 billion; 1 in 5 healthcare dollars in the US.

·         $176 billion in direct medical costs

·         $69 billion in reduced productivity. To break this down further:

o   increased absenteeism ($5 billion)

o   reduced productivity while at work ($20.8 billion)

o   reduced productivity for those not in the labor force ($2.7 billion)

o   inability to work as a result of disease-related disability ($21.6 billion)

o   lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($18.5 billion)

Doesn’t it make sense to invest in preventing this epidemic? Simple measures can reduce the risk of diabetes (and heart disease), including:

·         Maintaining a healthy weight

·         Eating well

·         Increasing physical activity

Easier said than done? Consulting with a professional (exercise specialist, registered dietitian, or your physician) is your best bet, along with being surrounded by like-minded individuals. I think it’s easier to stay away from the donuts when the people I’m hanging out with are eating greek yogurt and almonds…don’t you?  For more helpful hints on decreasing your risk for diabetes check out our previous blog on nutrition misconceptions.




Sandy Greeson

Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, Essential Functions Evaluator, & Certifed Clinical Instructor