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The Cost of Diabetes: The Personal and Global Impact
The percentage of individuals over the age of 18 suffering from diabetes and prediabetes has nearly doubled in the last 30 years, and the spread of the disease has left a financial crisis in its wake. As the 7th leading cause of death in America, prediabetes and diabetes impacts nearly all aspects of life, and the financial burden is crippling to individuals and the communities they live in.
To accurately convey the global financial impact of diabetes and prediabetes, it’s best to simply regard the statistics:
- The total calculated cost of diabetes in the US totaled over $327,000,000,000 in 2017. (Yes, that’s 327 billion dollars.) This presents an increase of 26% from studies done in 2012.
- The annual cost of diabetes for a diagnosed individual averaged nearly $17,000. That’s more than 25% of the average household income in America, just to put that number in perspective.
- Average medical expenditures for sufferers of diabetes and prediabetes is about 2.3x the amount of the average individual.
To exacerbate this problem, individuals in low-income countries and communities show a higher rate and rise of diabetes occurrence. Insurance policies only cover a portion of the regular costs of treatment, and don’t include stipends for dietary changes, transportation, education, fitness classes, and the litany of other costs that are accrued when individuals proactively pursue treatment.
As we’ve discussed previously, diabetes and prediabetes have far-ranging effects that include increased risk of developing auxiliary health problems. These complications include some of the most deadly and costly conditions in the US and around the world, making it impossible to accurately convey the total global cost of diabetes.
Sufferers of diabetes have a 2-3x greater chance of having a heart attack or stroke, and display increased risk of developing a variety of cardiovascular conditions. Cardiovascular dysfunction carried a financial burden of over $350,000,000,000 in 2014-15. Globally, diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, and is also one of the primary causes of kidney failure. Kidney disease comes with an annual cost of $50,000,000 in the US, with costs that increase exponentially as the condition advances.
Major complications clearly present the costliest effects, but there is a litany of minor health problems that increase the financial burden. Individuals who don’t address fitness as a treatment option, for instance, are susceptible to a much greater risk of accidents due to the physiological effects of the disease, including loss of balance, confusion, and dizziness. Also, cutting-edge treatments like Day Two are becoming available to the public, but haven’t yet been embraced by healthcare organizations worldwide, meaning individuals who wish to embrace proven research often have to pay out-of-pocket to do so.
Absenteeism at work, reduced productivity, and an overall inability to work all contribute to the global and personal financial burden as well. Overall, 1 in 4 US dollars spent on healthcare goes to prediabetes or diabetes treatment, and this does not include the cost of more severe conditions that may develop after the initial diagnosis.
Furthermore, over 250,000 Americans died in 2015 with diabetes listed as a cause of death, with the majority dying before the age of 70. Because these incidents occur with a greater frequency in low-income communities, individuals who die as a result of diabetes complications are less likely to have life insurance. While low-income families certainly suffer the most from incidents of premature death, the financial, emotional, and psychological impacts for all are immeasurable.
Prevention is Key in Diabetes
As these statistics show, the personal and global financial burden is immense, and has an intensified effect on families and communities that suffer a higher occurrence of high blood sugar rates. Prevention strategies are at the center of the WHO’s plan to reduce the global impact, but these measures are being slowed by the rate at which new technologies and treatment methods are achieving approval by the FDA and other global health organizations.
At DayTwo, it’s our goal to promote a strategy that helps motivate individuals to proactively address preventative treatment early on. By addressing blood sugar levels before a prediabetes or diabetes diagnosis, individuals can regulate blood sugar and prevent the myriad complications that arise from diabetes.
With smartphone access to dietary guidelines selected based on your personal microbiome, Day Two makes it easier than ever to embrace a meal plan with proven results. With countless individuals seeing positive results every day, we hope to increase our influence in the global health marketplace to help individuals address their diet effectively, preventing the progression of prediabetes to diabetes and offering a global dietary solution that promotes increased well-being for all.