The number of those with diabetes covered by Medicare will rise from 8.2 million to 14.6 million, the researchers predict. Medicare spending on diabetes will jump from $45 billion to $171 billion.
"If we don't change our diet and exercise habits or find new, more effective and less expensive ways to prevent and treat diabetes, we will find ourselves in a lot of trouble as a population," said the study's lead author Elbert Huang, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.
"Without significant changes in public or private strategies," the authors wrote, "this population and cost growth are expected to add a significant strain to an overburdened health care system."
The new estimates are far more rigorous, and more troubling, than previous predictions.
A 1991 study stated that the number of Americans with diabetes would double, from 6.5 million in 1987 to 11.6 million by 2030, which, as it turns out, is less than half the number of cases in 2009. "These projections stress the importance of prevention and education," the authors declare. "The requisite change in life style, exercise, or nutrition habits will be more difficult than if a drug is developed for treatment."
A 1998 study foretold more cases sooner: 22 million US cases by 2025. "Worldwide surveillance of diabetes is a necessary first step towards its prevention and control, which is now recognized as an urgent priority."
A 2001 study predicted 29 million cases by 2050. The authors of that study warned that their projection may be "more alarming than previously believed," adding that the "economic cost of diabetes is already staggering."
A retrospective 2008 study confirmed the predicted trends, showing that the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes rose steadily from 10 million in 1994, to 14 million in 2000, to 19 million in 2007, and the annual cost--just for drugs--for people affected by diabetes nearly doubled in six years, rising from $6.7 billion in 2001 to $12.5 billion in 2007.
The most recent and alarming prediction may even be a bit conservative. It is based on the assumption that the prevalence of the overweight and obese in the United States will remain relatively stable.
Although obesity levels have gone up steadily for many years, the authors predict that the obesity levels for the non-diabetic population will top out in the next decade, then decline slightly, from 30 percent today to about 27 percent by 2033. "Despite recent trends in obesity rates," Huang explained, "we anticipate that the population will reach an equilibrium in obesity levels, since we cannot all become obese."
The 2009 Diabetes Care study places increased emphasis on changes in demographics, advances in treatment, and the natural history of this disease, including the timing and frequency of its costly complications. Much of the increase in cases and in costs will be driven by aging "baby boomers," the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1957 who are approaching the age of retirement, diabetes complications, and federal health insurance.
Various characteristics of the modern natural history of diabetes and its treatments contribute to increasing the costs of diabetes for the population. People with diabetes are now being diagnosed at younger ages. Thanks to better treatments, they are living longer. This leads to a longer history of disease, opportunities for more aggressive therapies, and time to accumulate complications, which are costly to treat. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, end-stage kidney disease and amputations.
The study was done to help forecast the impact of alternative policy scenarios as Congress debates changes in the health care system, particularly to Medicare.
"The public policy implications are enormous," said co-author Michael O'Grady, PhD, senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. "This a serious challenge to Medicare and every other health plan in the country. The cost of doing nothing is the significant increase in the pain and suffering of America's population and a financial burden that will threaten the financial viability of public and private insurers alike."
"We built this model to improve the budgetary and health outcome information available to federal policymakers," the researchers explained. It provides a rigorous assessment of the future burden of diabetes and can also be used to provide estimates of the impact of alternative policy scenarios. They predict that the growth in diabetes costs will exceed current projections of total Medicare spending.
The National Changing Diabetes Program of Novo Nordisk, a maker of insulin, funded the study. The University of Chicago investigators are co-investigators of the NIDDK Diabetes Research and Training Center. Additional authors were Anirban Basu of the University of Chicago and James Capretta, now at Civic Enterprises, LLC, in Washington, DC.
John Easton | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Life Sciences
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Process Engineering