Diabetes Complications Cost Billions
Report Shows Cost of Treating Diabetes Complications Is $10,000 per Patient Each Year
WebMD News Archive
Diabetes Complications continued...
And he noted that death rates from heart disease are two- to four times
higher in diabetes patients than in heart patients without the disease.
"Every cardiologist will tell you that the diabetics simply don't do as
well as patients who don't have diabetes," he said.
The new report is an analysis of data from two large, national studies --
the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the Medical
Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).
It was released Tuesday at the AACE 16th Annual Meeting and Clinical
Congress in Seattle, and was conducted in partnership with a diabetes
complications consortium that includes the National Kidney Foundation, the
National Federation of the Blind, the Amputee Coalition of America, and The
Mended Hearts, Inc.
How to Manage Diabetes
Einhorn tells WebMD that the report makes it clear that patients are
suffering needlessly because of poor disease management.
"We have the tools to do it right, so it is clear that we have not
focused enough on early detection, early and aggressive treatment, and
prevention of complications," he says.
He adds that the patients he sees as medical director of San Diego's Scripps
Whittier Institute for Diabetes tend to be educated about the lifestyle changes
they need to make to keep their diabetes under control, and they usually
receive aggressive, early drug treatment with a combination of medications, if
"As a result we don't see many complications," he says. "We are
living proof that complications don't have to happen."
Einhorn points out that patients with early diabetes or those at high risk
for developing the disease have traditionally been told to lose weight,
exercise, and make other lifestyle changes.
Good advice, he says, but something that most patients just can't or won't
"The problem with telling people to go make all these lifestyle changes
and come back in six months, is that six months becomes a year and people who
need to be on medication often go without treatment for extended periods,"
"As a result, 50% of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes today
already have complications that took some years to develop. We are obviously
late to the game."