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Diabetes Could Cost US $218 billion

Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 12:32PM by Registered CommenterPennino Corp. CEO | CommentsPost a Comment | References25 References

Diabetes could cost U.S. well over $218 billion

TRENTON, N.J. - As diabetes is rapidly becoming one of the world's most common diseases, its financial cost is mounting, too, to well over $200 billion a year in the U.S. alone.

A new study, released Tuesday exclusively to The Associated Press, puts the total at $218 billion last year — the first comprehensive estimate of the financial toll diabetes takes, according to Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk A/S, which paid for the study.

That figure includes direct medical care costs, from insulin and pills for controlling patients' blood sugar to amputations and hospitalizations, plus indirect costs such as lost productivity, disability and early retirement.

The study, conducted by the Lewin Group consultants, estimates costs to society for people known to have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes at $174.4 billion combined, a total previously reported by Novo Nordisk, the world's top producer of insulin and the maker of diabetes pills such as NovoNorm and Prandin. That study was done with the American Diabetes Association.

The new study adds estimates for people who haven't been diagnosed yet ($18 billion), women who develop diabetes temporarily during pregnancy ($636 million) and those on track to develop diabetes, an increasingly common condition called pre-diabetes ($25 billion).

"Diabetes has not seen a decline or even a plateauing, and the death rate from diabetes continues to rise," said Dana Haza, senior director of the National Changing Diabetes Program, an effort Novo Nordisk began in 2005 to improve diabetes care and prevention in the U.S.

"The numbers just keep going higher and higher, and what we want to say is, 'It's time for government and businesses to focus on it,'" said Haza, who believes diabetes will be the country's biggest health problem in the future, worsened by the obesity epidemic.

Novo Nordisk is to present the data Tuesday at a health care conference for corporate executives and then plans to publish a full report in a professional journal. The calculations are based on numbers from sources including databases on treatment of people with commercial insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, federal public health surveys and other sources.

Read the rest of the article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27783488/

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