8 Key Statistics on the Cost of Diabetes

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Written by: Chris Riley

Medically Reviewed by: Erik Rivera

Number 1:  In 2019, 760 billion US dollars  was the global health expenditure on diabetes and projected to inflate to 825 billion by 2030 and 845 billion by 2045.

Summary:  The United States has the largest global health expenses on diabetes at 294.6 billion, followed by China (109 billion USD) then Brazil (52.3 billion USD).  Age groups with the highest cost of diabetes are 60-69, followed by 50-59, then 70-79. 

Source: International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas; Williams R;Karuranga S;Malanda B;Saeedi P;Basit A;Besançon S;Bommer C;Esteghamati A;Ogurtsova K;Zhang P;Colagiuri S; (n.d.). Global and regional estimates and projections of Diabetes-related health expenditure: Results from the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, 9th edition. Diabetes research and clinical practice. Retrieved July 24, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32061820/

Number 2:   From 2012 to 2017, the United States’ economic diabetes cost increased by 26% (after adjusting for inflation).

Summary:   The total cost of diabetes care/treatment in the United States was $327 billion.  $237 billion for direct medical costs and $90 billion in diminished productivity. 

Source: American Diabetes Association; (2018, March 22). Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes care. Retrieved July 24, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29567642/

Number 3:  Adjusting for inflation, a 2017 analysis reveals an 11% increase in the prevalence of diabetes and a 13% increase in cost per person that is living with diabetes.  With the largest expenditure being the price of insulin. 

Summary: In this article, the prevalence and increasing rise of cost of individuals living with diabetes presents an urgent problem to manage costs while also avoiding undesired harms. 

Source: American Diabetes Association; Riddle, M. C., & Herman, W. H. (2018). The cost of diabetes care—an elephant in the room. Diabetes Care, 41(5), 929-932.

Number 4:  20% of the United States of America’s total healthcare dollars are spent on diabetes treatment.

Summary: Researchers utilized the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from dates 2006-2009 (subsequently linked to the National Interview Health Survey, 2005-2008) to estimate lifetime costs of people living with diabetes.  It was found that people living with diabetes, despite having a shorter life expectancy, accumulated a substantially greater medical cost.

Source: American Diabetes Association; Zhuo, X., Zhang, P., Barker, L., Albright, A., Thompson, T. J., & Gregg, E. (2014). The lifetime cost of diabetes and its implications for diabetes prevention. Diabetes care, 37(9), 2557-2564.

Number 5: In Brazil, chronic kidney disease as well as end stage kidney disease that was due to diabetes, accounted for 22% of the entire cost of these diseases, which is 1.2 billion USD.

Summary: Expenses for diabetic care in Brazil are growing at 6% annually.  This signifies a need to keep monitoring diabetic care in the health system in Brazil as well as the pressing need to discuss and develop new strategies for screening in at-risk areas in Brazil.

Source: PLOS One; Goncalves, G. M. R., & Silva, E. N. D. (2018). Cost of chronic kidney disease attributable to diabetes from the perspective of the Brazilian Unified Health System. PLoS One, 13(10), e0203992.

Number 6: 18.9% of adults with diabetes had comorbid eye complications. This cross sectional study consisted of 8,420 adults with diabetes.  18.9% had eye complications and 11.2% had chronic kidney disease. Those comorbid eye complications had a higher total medical expense of $19,921 USD than those with no eye complications at $11,585 USD. 

Summary: The results of this cross sectional study, utilizing the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) database,  show that individuals with comorbid eye complications associated with diabetes have significantly higher medical expenses.  Health initiatives, interventions, and strategies should be utilized in order to minimize the risk of diabetic complications, especially those with comorbid eye complications.

Source: Journal of Diabetes Research; Meraya, A. M., Alwhaibi, M., Khobrani, M. A., Makeen, H. A., Alqahtani, S. S., & Banji, D. (2020). Direct Medical Expenditures Associated with Eye Complications among Adults with Diabetes in the United States. Journal of diabetes research, 2020.

Number 7: In 2014-2015, .8%-.9% of the total National Health Services cost in England was related to ulcerations and amputations in patients with diabetes. Ulceration accounted for over 90% of the expenditure. 

Summary: A study that examined national and local patient data sets in England, a significant proportion of the National Health Service expenditure is accountable for amputations and especially ulcerations.  This study is showing a growing need to reduce expenditures not only in England but also around the globe. 

Source: Diabetic Medicine; Kerr, M., Barron, E., Chadwick, P., Evans, T., Kong, W. M., Rayman, G., … & Jeffcoate, W. J. (2019). The cost of diabetic foot ulcers and amputations to the National Health Service in England. Diabetic Medicine, 36(8), 995-1002.

Number 8:  Approximately 1/3rd of people living with diabetes will develop a diabeteic foot ulcer (DFU). 17% of these individuals will require amputation.   Five year mortality rates for Charcot arthropathy is 29%, DFU is 30.5%, minor amputation is 46.2%, and major amputations is 56.6%.

Summary: Diabetic foot ulcers remain a major complication for those living with diabetes and are a marker for premature death. This shows great need for the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers and more care towards those in remission of diabetic foot ulcers to improve quality of life.

Source:  Journal of Foot and Ankle Research; Armstrong, D. G., Swerdlow, M. A., Armstrong, A. A., Conte, M. S., Padula, W. V., & Bus, S. A. (2020). Five year mortality and direct costs of care for people with diabetic foot complications are comparable to cancer. Journal of foot and ankle research, 13(1), 1-4.

Fact Checked and Editorial Process

Diabetic.org is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by hiring experts, journalists, medical professionals, and our growing Diabetic.org community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Erik Rivera and medically reviewed by Dr. Angel Rivera. 

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