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.
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.
Researchers also analyzed economic data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey conducted between 1999 and 2004.
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.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation