KEY TAKEAWAY: The biggest threat to healthcare is not drug pricing, it’s ourselves. Research from the American Diabetes Association shows the total cost of diabetes was $245 billion in 2012 — a 41% increase from the $174 billion spent in 2007.
I refuse to believe that the US can’t do for diabetes what we did for smoking. Even if we 10% of the cost of diabetes on hard hitting awareness and advertising campaigns I believe we could make a significant difference in the number of people who get diabetes. An estimated 22.3 million people were living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in 2012, according to the new report, up from 17.5 million in 2007.
It’s important to know that not all risk factors for diabetes can be controlled. African-Americans, American Indians and Asian-Americans are all at a greater risk of developing diabetes than Caucasians, leading researchers believe there is a genetic link. However, for those Americans who are consuming too much sugar and high fat foods an awareness campaign around the dangers of diabetes could hit home. We have to stop the belief that as we age, it’s OK to gain weight.
Diabetes can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness, according to the CDC. If it’s not kept under control, diabetes also can cause infections that may lead to leg or foot amputations.
Approximately 246,000 deaths were attributed to diabetes in 2012, according to the American Diabetes Association’s report. We will never know how many of these deaths can be prevented until we try to stop the spread of this terrible disease.