Costs and Implications

Your Choices Affect Your Family

Diabetes takes a toll: not only on your health, but also on your wallet. 
 
For a low-income Indian family with one diabetic adult, as much as 25 percent of the family’s income may go to diabetes care.1
 
In China, about 26 billion USD is spent on diabetes-related medical costs annually. This amounts to about 13 percent of total medical spending in China, and these costs are expected to grow dramatically if action is not taken.2 China has the highest number of diabetics in the world—currently nearly 114 million3—which may not be surprising given its large population. But the rate at which diabetes is increasing is alarming: The disease has more than tripled in China in the last decade.4
 
Many people with diabetes go undiagnosed either because of a lack of knowledge or fear of treatment costs. Moreover, new, more effective treatments can take years to be added to health care reimbursement lists. This leads to even larger health problems down the road. According to the Chinese Diabetes Society, even among diagnosed diabetics, only about 40 percent have their blood sugar under control. Improper blood sugar control can lead to heart, kidney, blood vessel, eye, and nerve damage.3
 
References:
1 Diabetes: the cost of diabetes. World Health Organization Web site. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs236/en/. Accessed August 12, 2013.
2 Gale J. Diabetes Costs China $26 Billion a Year, Researchers Find. Bloomberg. November 13, 2010. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-14/china-s-annual-26-billion-diabetes-bill-to-skyrocket-researchers-report.html. Accessed August 12, 2013.
3 Xu Y, Wang L, He J, et al. Prevalence and control of diabetes in Chinese adults. JAMA. 2013;310(9):948-59.
4 China Diabetes Triples Creating $3.2 Billion Drug Market. Bloomberg. November 5, 2012. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-04/china-diabetes-triples-creating-3-2-billion-drug-market.html. Accessed August 12, 2013.