Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Diabetes Costs More than Wars, and Katrina

Uncontrolled diabetes wreaks havoc on the body, often leading to kidney failure, blindness and death. A new study shows that the nation's unchecked diabetes epidemic exacts a heavy financial toll as well: $174 billion a year.

That's about as much as the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism combined. It's more than the $150 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The incidence of diabetes has ballooned - 1 million new cases a reported each year - as more Americans become overweight or obese, according to the study, released by the American Diabetes Association.

The cost of diabetes, in direct medical care and lost productivity, has swelled 32% since 2002, the report shows.

Diabetes killed more than 284,000 Americans last year, and costs the nation nearly as much as cancer, whose costs in 2006 totaled $206.3 billion, although cancer kills twice as many people, according to the American Cancer Society.

Read full article in the Indianapolis Star
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