Millions of American diabetics still undiagnosed

Feb 07, 2011

U.S. diabetes care costly

Roughly 7 million Americans have diabetes but have not been diagnosed and are not in treatment, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Older Americans are particularly susceptible to the disease, the CDC said, estimating that nearly 27 percent of those over the age of 65 suffer from it, including those who have not yet been diagnosed. The chances of having diabetes tend to rise with age, from a little less than 4 percent for people between 20 and 44, up to 13.7 percent from 45 to 64, and on to the aforementioned statistic.

In 2007, according to the CDC, the total direct and indirect costs associated with diabetes in the U.S. added up to $174 billion. This figure includes both $116 billion in direct medical expenses - meaning that diabetics needed more than twice as much care as non-diabetics - and $58 billion in lost income from disability, inability to work and early death.

Diabetics need to strenuously maintain a treatment regiment to ensure they pay the smallest possible premiums for life insurance, experts say.

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