Pharmaceutical

Cost of diabetes rising as number of diabetics increases

diabetes illus250x03 Cost of diabetes rising as number of diabetics increasesThe cost of diabetes rose more than 40 percent during the past five years, however the per-patient cost has remained roughly flat, according to new research that will be published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

The study, commissioned by the American Diabetes Association, estimated that diabetes cost the nation $245 billion in 2012, compared to $174 billion in 2007. Comparatively, an estimated 22.3 million people were diagnosed with the disease in 2012, compared to about 17.5 million in 2007. John Anderson, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association, said the data shows the rising cost of diabetes is attributed to the higher number of people with the disease.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not properly convert glucose, or sugar, to energy. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body. Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed in children or young adults. Type 2 diabetes is most often diagnosed in adults and is related to poor diet and sedentary lifestyles. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, and is growing exponentially in step with obesity rates in the U.S.

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications such as amputations of lower limbs, blindness and kidney failure. Many people rely on mediation to keep their blood sugar levels in check. However, medications for type 2 diabetes often carry dangerous side effects that diabetics should be aware of.

In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) severely restricted use of the type 2 diabetes medication Avandia after it was linked to fatal heart attacks. In 2011, the FDA issued a warning about the type 2 diabetes treatment Actos after it was shown to increase the risk for bladder cancer.

Source: USA Today