The American Diabetes Association reports that as of 2012, 9.3 percent of Americans have some form of diabetes. Of those, about 28 percent have gone undiagnosed.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when people’s bodies can’t produce enough insulin to maintain average glucose levels, or when their bodies actually resist insulin’s effects.
According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014, the estimated cost for both types of diabetes in the U.S. is $245 billion. Most of that – $176 billion – was from average medical costs while the other $69 billion came from indirect costs like the inability to work.
That’s compared with the U.K., whose Cost of Diabetes report released the same year reported about $14.5 billion of estimated medical costs to cover 3.8 million Brits living with diabetes.
Researchers also discovered the disease hits American women harder financially than American men.
Medical News Today reports women in the U.S. with type 2 diabetes have a 50 percent lower chance of gaining employment or keeping their jobs compared with men. Women also lose $21,392 in income yearly, making it the “highest annual income loss worldwide.”
Despite the U.S. being the most expensive place to have diabetes, the study found the disease is more devastating for people living in poorer countries.
The study’s lead researcher said in a press release, “In high income countries the burden often affects government or public health insurance budgets while in poorer countries a large part of the burden falls on the person with diabetes and their family due to a very limited health insurance coverage.”
This is problematic because two-thirds of the diabetes cases now being diagnosed are from countries with lower incomes like Mexico, India and Egypt.
And the number of people with diabetes worldwide is expected to jump to 592 million people by the year 2035.