ONE OF EVERY $6 DOLLARS in our economy is spent on health care. While there are complex reasons for this, one of the biggest underlying factors is the economic burden of chronic disease. Altogether, conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes make up 75 percent of the total health care tab. Among these conditions, diabetes is a major player—an epidemic in its own right.
The disease is prevalent, complicated and costly. More than 9 percent of the population suffered from diabetes in 2012, and about 1 in every 5 health care dollars was spent on diabetes that same year—$245 billion total.
People with diabetes are vulnerable to a host of serious conditions that are expensive to treat, including heart disease, kidney disease, and eye and foot damage. Managing diabetes both physically and financially hinges upon reducing the risk of these secondary conditions.