The cost of chronic disease

Diabetes © Brent Hofacker/

The American Diabetes Association estimates that costs associated with diagnosed diabetes have risen 41 percent, from $174 billion in 2007 to $245 billion in 2012, according to a report released in March. Diabetes and its complications account for 10 percent of all U.S. health care dollars, according to the report.

The average cost per person for diabetes-related medical care rose 19 percent, from $6,649 in 2007 to $7,900 in 2012, the ADA report says. It also found that people with diabetes spend 2.3 times more for medical care than those without the disease.

The ADA attributes the cost increase mainly to the epidemic rise in the prevalence of diabetes, which is projected to affect nearly 1 in 3 U.S. adults by 2050.

Cost-saving health tips: Obesity, which also is an epidemic, is a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the illness. The ADA recommends setting realistic, measureable goals aimed at better nutrition and physical fitness. For example, its guidelines suggest you might pledge to eat two pieces of fruit and take a 15-minute walk four days a week for a month to get started.

More on obesity next.


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