Health costs for diabetes expected to rise as population ages: researcher
In this photo taken Wednesday, May 13, 2015, Weston Murphy, 5, who has Type 1 diabetes, pricks his finger to test his blood at his home in Plainfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, August 17, 2015 1:52PM EDT
TORONTO -- A new study has determined that the average cost of health care for Canadians with diabetes is $16,000 over eight years, compared to $6,000 for those without the disease.
The analysis published in the journal Diabetic Medicine shows that caring for the 3.4 million Canadians with diabetes costs the health system billions of dollars each year.
Lead author Laura Rosella of the University of Toronto says diabetes is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century because of how much it costs to manage.
The study captured health-care costs for almost three million people with diabetes from 2004 to 2012 using patient data that included hospitalizations, emergency room visits, surgery, kidney dialysis and medications.
Rosella says the prevalence of diabetes is expected to rise as a result of the aging population, as well as increasing rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
She says it's critical that diabetes-related costs be estimated in order to properly allocate future health-care resources and to determine cost-savings from prevention strategies.
Dr. Janet Hux, chief science officer at the Canadian Diabetes Association, says the disease decreases a person's quality and length of life, and is a leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputation and blindness among adults.
"Looking beyond the impact on individuals, this study documents the heavy and potentially unsustainable burden the condition poses to the health-care system," she says.