Every 24 hours, more than 4,000 adults are diagnosed with diabetes, and approximately 200 people die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Diabetes currently affects about 26 million Americans —10 percent of our population —and is one of the fastest growing diseases in the nation. Another 79 million people are considered to have prediabetes, meaning that they are at grave risk of developing diabetes.
Diabetes and Obesity
Diabetes goes hand in hand with obesity. Obesity rates have increased by 130 percent over the past two decades — and if the current growth rate in obesity continues, by 2050 up to one-third of Americans will be diabetic.
Currently, more than one-third of American adults — more than 72 million people — and 17 percent of children in the United States are obese, placing them at heightened risk for developing diabetes.
The Financial and Health Impact
UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization research shows that more than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by 2020 – at a cost of $3.35 trillion over the next decade.
One of every five health care dollars is spent caring for someone with diagnosed diabetes. And caring for a person with diabetes costs an average of $11,700 annually compared with $4,400 for someone without the disease.
By the end of the decade, diabetes and prediabetes will account for $500 billion in health care spending annually — up from an estimated $194 billion this year.
- United States of Diabetes: Challenges and Opportunities in the Decade Ahead, UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization, 11/2010.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011.