Costs and complications of diabetes and prediabetes
Healthmaker Griffin Rodgers, MD, director of diabetes, digestive and kidney diseases for the National Institutes of Health, discusses diabetes and prediabetes, their costs, and their complications.
Diabetes, for example, currently affects some 29 million Americans.
What more challenging is the 79 million adults who have prediabetes. Their blood sugar numbers are in a range that's
not exactly normal, but it's not yet high enough to put them in a category of frank diabetes.
And over the successive 5 to 10 years, many of these patients will in fact be transformed into frank diabetes.
The annual hospital costs or direct medical costs are in excess of $1,200 a year in comparison to a few dollars
if you don't have diabetes. Number one cause of blindness in this country. It's the number one cause of kidney disease.
It's the number one cause of non-traumatic amputation of the lower extremities. 2012, the American Diabetes Association
gave an estimate of what the annual direct cost is for the care of these 29 million Americans.
Actually, the number was smaller back in 2012, but the estimate at that point was over $245 billion per year.
Billion with a B, and, again, that underestimates the effect of that larger number,
almost three times as many that are underneath the surface of the water. That's just the tip of the iceberg,
but our hope is that with studies that we are currently engaged in at some point we may be able to reverse diabetes.
In fact, our studies are moving from developing better ways
to treat the disease to prevent the secondary complications but preventing the disease from developing in the first place.
living with diabetes
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