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Insight & Analysis / CHI Projection: Annual Diabetes Cost in Colorado May Hit $8.3 Billion by 2030

The New York Times recently reported on a study that found nearly one in four American adolescents to be diabetic or prediabetic. Adolescents with diabetes or prediabetes are more likely to have diabetes as adults, and adults with diabetes are more likely to have other chronic conditions such as hypertension and obesity.

These trends have major implications for the future cost of health care. Several years ago, the American Diabetes Association estimated that the total cost of diabetes for Coloradans in 2006 was $2.5 billion. 

CHI recently projected that if current prevalence trends continue, the estimated cost of diabetes in Colorado will total approximately $8.3 billion (in 2006 dollars) by 2030. Given that medical costs have historically met or exceeded overall inflation, the cost of diabetes in 2030 may be substantially higher than $8.3 billion.

This cost is composed of the following:

  • Approximately $5.3 billion for the medical cost of diabetes. This includes excess medical expenditures attributed to diabetes such as care directly to treat diabetes, care to treat the portion of chronic complications related to diabetes, and excess general medical costs. Hospital inpatient care, medication, supplies and physician office visits are included in this sum.
  • Approximately $3 billion for indirect costs such as absenteeism, presenteeism (reduced productivity while at work), unemployment resulting from disease-related disability and lost productivity caused by early mortality.

Intangible costs such as pain and suffering, care for diabetes patients provided by family and friends and excess costs resulting from undiagnosed diabetes are not included in this analysis.  For more on the costs included in this analysis, see the American Diabetes Association report.  

CHI’s projection makes the following assumptions:

  • Colorado’s diabetes rate continues to grow at the same rate is has grown since 2004, meaning approximately 12% of Colorado adults will have diabetes by 2030. (Source: CHI analysis of 2004-2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.) This represents an increase from approximately 190,000 diagnosed Colorado diabetics in 2006 to approximately 630,000 in 2030.
  • Real per capita diabetes costs (not accounting for inflation) remain unchanged between 2006 and 2030.
  • Costs of childhood diabetes are not included in this analysis.
  • All costs are estimated in unadjusted 2006 dollars. 
Filed In: Community Health

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