29 Million Americans Now Have Diabetes: One-Quarter Don’t Even Know

CDC reports 29 million Americans have diabetes in 2014
America is becoming a nation of diabetics. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are now more than 29 million Americans who have diabetes. This number is up from 2010 when the CDC reported there were an estimated 26 million people in the US with the disease. Even more concerning, one out of every four people with diabetes doesn’t even realize they have the disease.

In addition to the huge number of people who have diabetes, the report says one out of every three US adults now has prediabetes. This is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but haven’t reached the point where the person can be classified as being a type 2 diabetic. It’s basically a warning sign that if the person doesn’t lose weight, eat healthier and begin to do more physical activity, there’s an increased chance they will develop full-blown type 2 diabetes.

As Ann Albright, the director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes notes, the disease is both costly to humans and in economic terms. Diabetes was responsible for some $245 billion in total medical costs, lost work, and lost wages in 2012. That figure had been $174 billion in 2007 according to the American Diabetes Association.

The cost of diabetes can be detrimental to your personal finances. As might be expected, those who have been diagnosed spend more on medical costs than those who don’t. Those with diabetes have medical expenditures about 2.3 times more than what their medical costs would be if they didn’t have the didease. Diabetics have an average cost of $13,700 per year for medical expenses, with $7,900 being directly attributed to their diabetes.

There are also a lot of indirect costs which come with the disease. These include

  • Being absent from work ($5 billion)
  • Not being as productive at work ($20.8 billion)
  • Not being productive when outside the labor force ($2.7 billion)
  • The inability to work due to the disease ($21.6 billion)
  • Lost productivity due to early death ($18.5 billion)

For those who have diabetes or have prediabetes, there are a number of steps that can be taken to keep the disease in check, and reduce the cost to you in the process. These are the actions that need to be taken.

Work with Your Doctor

If you have diabetes, come up with the plan to address the disease with your doctor. If you currently have not been diagnosed with diabetes, make sure that you have your blood sugar tested the next time that you visit your doctor so you know where you stand. Diabetes can be regulated with the proper medical care and lifestyle changes, so it’s important to develop a plan that’s right for you with your doctor. By controlling the disease with the tools available, you can greatly reduce the costs of the disease over time.

Lose Weight

Begin a daily exercise program to begin shedding extra pounds you may have. Being overweight is a key factor for diabetes, and getting rid of excess weight can go a long way to manage the disease, or prevent it from developing if you have prediabetes. Again, work with your doctor on an exercise program to shed those excess pounds.

Eat Better

A key factor to managing or preventing diabetes is to consume a healthy diet. The better you eat, the healthier your body will be. Talk to your doctor and develop a reasonable eating plan which will keep you healthier and reduce the costs associated with the disease.

Stay Active

Learn to be more active on a daily basis. It’s through activity you burn the sugars in your body. Being active is therefore an important aspect to managing the disease, or preventing it from happening in the first place. Get up and move about as much is possible, and make daily activity a priority in your life.

By taking the necessary steps to control or prevent diabetes, you can end up saving yourself thousands of dollars a year over not being proactive against the disease. Here’s a snapshot of the disease in the US provided by the CDC

A Snapshot: Diabetes In The united States
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Skley)

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2 Responses to 29 Million Americans Now Have Diabetes: One-Quarter Don’t Even Know

  1. My father was a diabetic as well as my grandparents. I’m in my late 20’s now and I know that I’m prone to a diabetic too. I should start living a healthy lifestyle, being active, less sweets and more vegetables and fruits.

  2. The costs associated with having diabetes are quite large. Its not only valuable to invest in your personal health and quality of life, but its smart for your wallet to try to prevent diabetes.

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