What Is the Cost of Diabetes (& Can You Reduce Expenses?)

Diabetics and prediabetics have to spend money every day to treat their condition and maintain their health. With more doctor’s visits, medication costs, and incidentals to pay for, they can spend an estimated $13,700 more per year than the average person.

That’s a Lot of Money!

This cost factors in a lot of expenses and is based on research completed by the American Diabetes Association in 2013. Overall, it was found that the costs of diabetes totaled about $245 billion dollars per year.

By 2034, the price of having diabetes is expected to increase to $334 billion dollars.

So, what is the biggest expense? It seems that hospital inpatient care accounts for 43% of the costs, with prescription medications to treat diabetic complications following suit at 18% of the total cost.


Other expenses include:

  • diabetic supplies and anti-diabetic medications
  • doctor’s visits
  • stays in nursing homes and residential centers

There are also a lot of indirect costs that make up another $69 billion yearly. These affect both individuals and the economy.

What are the indirect costs?

  • people who are too sick to have a job
  • reduced productivity for those on the job and at home
  • early death causing a loss in skilled workers
  • missed work days

Is There a Way to Prevent the Rising Expenses?

Researchers of the American Medical Association recently published the results of a three-year study that followed people diagnosed with prediabetes. The purpose of the study was to track the expenses of people with prediabetes and whether costs could be cut with intervention.

They found that successful completion of a lifestyle change program helped prevent patients from developing diabetes and kept their medical costs down. Completion meant attending at least 12 sessions of a standard national diabetes prevention program.

Over the course of the study, those who went onto developing diabetes ended up spending about one-third more than those who didn’t develop diabetes. This averaged about $2,761 more per person each year. The researchers also found that the initial expenses were higher during the first year of diagnosis, but they did go down over time. This wasn’t due to the cost of getting diagnosed but to a combination of untreated health problems that patients needed to get under control.

While this study was limited to preventing the costs of developing diabetes for prediabetics, it’s possible that lifestyle changes can also help keep costs down for those who are already diagnosed.


[expand title=”References“]

The Cost of Diabetes. URL Link. Accessed August 19th, 2017.

Population Health Management. URL Link. Accessed August 19th, 2017.


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