A lifetime of type 2 diabetes comes with a hefty price

The average person with type 2 diabetes will spend about $85,000 in his or her lifetime to treat the disease and its complications, reports a new study.

The research found costs for women are slightly higher than for men, and the earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the more money is spent during a lifetime.

Complications = cash

The study, conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, used a simulation model to examine the costs associated with type 2 diabetes and its potential health complications during a lifetime.

The model found that a man diagnosed with diabetes between the ages of 25 and 44 can expect to pay about $124,700 during his lifetime to treat the disease, while a woman diagnosed at the same age could incur costs of $130,800.

Complications associated with diabetes would make up for about 53 percent of these costs, with 57 percent coming from complications caused by blood vessel damage. Other costs would include doctor visits, medication, testing supplies and treatment for things like kidney damage or vision problems.

"This is a different approach to a calculation of the costs of diabetes," said Robert E. Ratner, M.D., chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association, in a press release. "A better way of doing it is to note that in 2012 in the U.S., we actually had $176 billion in direct medical costs treating people with diabetes. This is up 40 percent in five years."

Better care is not helping

Ratner said although complications from diabetes have been decreasing with efforts to educate patients about better blood sugar control, the surge of new type 2 diabetes cases offsets any positive gains in this area.

"When you look at the annual costs, you can clearly see this is an untenable rate of growth," he said.

Results of the study are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Source: Science Daily

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