Diabetes accounts for nearly half of health care spending in United States

Spending on diabetes, a group of metabolic diseases representing high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period, accounts for more than 50 per cent of all spending on health care in the United States, researchers reported. In a comprehensive financial analysis, a group of researchers from the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation found that spending on diabetes diagnosis and treatment totaled a whopping $101 billion in
2013.

They also found that spending on health care related to diabetes grew 36 times faster than spending on heart disease, which is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. The average annual rate of increase in health care spending on diabetes between 1996 and 2013 was recorded at 3.5 per cent.

Lead researcher Prof. Joseph Dieleman said, “After adjusting for inflation, we see that every year the U. S. is spending 6 percent more than we spent the year before on diabetes That’s really a remarkable growth rate, notably faster than the economy is growing or health care spending as a whole.”

Overall, Americans spent more than $2.1 trillion in 2013 on diagnosis and treatment of various health issues, which is equivalent to more than 17 per cent of the total U. S. economy.

The alarming findings of the study were published in a recent edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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