It is predicted that the number of Americans with diabetes would nearly double over the next 25 years. At the same time, the cost of care would almost triple as patients live longer and develop more of the disease’s long-term complications.
A University of Chicago researcher, Dr. Elbert S. Huang, the lead author of a recent paper says that, “In 25 years, there is going to be this convergence of the population getting older but also many people having had diabetes for a long period of time, and that would lead to higher costs”.
The projections estimate that the population of diabetic individuals will rise to 44.1 million by the year 2034. At the present time there are approximately 23.7 million persons afflicted with diabetes with medical spending increasing to $336 billion from $113 billion.
These new projections differ from earlier calculations by other researchers because they take the natural history of diabetes into account as well as the fact that Americans are being told that they have the condition at younger ages. Because people live longer, they have more opportunities to develop complications including end-stage kidney disease and other maladies.