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When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, the mental and physical toll can seem significant. Adjusting your diet and lifestyle, remembering to check your blood sugar, and taking your insulin can sometimes feel like overwhelming tasks. The financial costs can also add a layer of stress. Knowing the financial realities of diabetes, as well as preventative measures you can take, can empower you and help you gain a better understanding of how to manage your care.
Looking at the numbers
Millions of people are diagnosed with diabetes every year. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the total annual cost of diabetes in the U.S. alone is $327 billion. $237 billion of that figure comes from direct medical costs, while $90 billion is said to be lost due to reduced productivity. Overall, one-fourth of medical dollars spent in the U.S. are linked to diabetes.1
For individuals living with diabetes, the financials costs can be a burden. Recent studies show that the average yearly medical expenditure is more than $16,000.1 People with diabetes can also expect, on average, to have more than double the medical expenses of those without diabetes.1 These medical costs can include:
Medications and treatment
Doctor’s office visits
Prevention is key
Diabetes prevention is the most cost-effective solution available. This means taking care of your diet, getting 150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly, staying at a healthy weight, and controlling your stress level. If weight loss is recommended, losing 5-10% of your body weight can help lower risk as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers an affordable prevention program that can help lower your risk of being diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes.
If you are living with diabetes, reducing your risk of complications can help prevent costly medical expenses. Steps you can take to do this include:
Manage your blood sugar. You can reduce your risk of eye, kidney, and nerve disease by working to keep blood sugars within ADA guidelines.