About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Monday, January 28, 2008

Soaring Diabetes Rates Spell Economic Trouble

A new study shows that diabetes rates have risen dramatically between 1994 and 2005, with new diagnoses rising by 23% and the incidence increasing by 62%. Already one-third of Medicare's budget goes towards treating Type 2 diabetes.

The sad thing is Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. According to Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, the study points to a stark need for preventive strategies.

Two key facts for those in the corporate wellness field, from American Diabetes Association:
  • Indirect costs of Type 2 diabetes resulting from lost workdays, restricted activity days, mortality, and permanent disability due to diabetes totaled $40.8 billion.
  • The per capita annual costs of health care for people with diabetes rose from $10,071 in 1997 to $13,243 in 2002, an increase of more than 30%. In contrast, health care costs for people without diabetes amounted to $2,560 in 2002.

Think about how those numbers affect corporate health insurance and personnel budgets and you see why this is such a crucial issue for employers.

Prevention, prevention, prevention: That is my mantra. The costs of treating every lifestyle related disease--whether it be heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure--are many many times the cost of prevention.

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