Three in Five Diabetics Have Complications Related to Disease; Most Are Minorities, Research Says
Three of every five diabetics in the U.S. experience at least one significant complication from the disease, such as heart disease, stroke, eye damage, chronic kidney disease or foot problems leading to amputation, according to research presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the Los Angeles Times reports. For the study, researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics between 1999 and 2004. The study found that one in 10 diabetics has two complications, one in 15 has three complications and one in 13 has four or more complications (Maugh, Los Angeles Times, 4/11). The study also found that complications are most prevalent among diabetic Hispanics, at a rate of about 68%. About 59% of black diabetics experience diabetes-related complications, and about 55% of white diabetics experience such complications (Manning, USA Today, 4/10). Researchers also analyzed economic data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey conducted between 1999 and 2004 (Los Angeles Times, 4/11). According to University of Chicago health economist Willard Manning, who presented the data, the cost of treating type 2 diabetes-related complications nationwide totaled $22.9 billion in 2006. Manning said people with diabetes complications have health care costs that are three times greater than people without diabetes. He added that those with diabetes complications spend an average of about $1,600 annually on out-of-pocket costs and that the average annual cost of care for people with diabetes-related complications totals about $10,000, most of which is paid for by insurance companies. The report was prepared by the endocrinology association, along with the Amputee Coalition of America, Mended Hearts, the National Federation of the Blind and the National Kidney Foundation, and funded by prescription drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (USA Today, 4/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.