Rising Costs of Diabetes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Price of Having Diabetes Nearly Doubled In Past 20 Years

Rising Costs of Diabetes

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 Dr. Henry Williams, Memorial Hospital says  "It tends to be one of those silent killers, you don't feel bad when you first have high blood sugar."

Nearly 10 percent of the population or more than 29 million people are walking around with diabetes.

Dr. Henry Williams, Memorial Hospital says "It continues to be a challenge,because of the fact people are not changing their diet habits which is one of the main driving factors of the problem."

Bad diet habits like over eating, too many carbs, and not being active.  

Diabetes has terrible complications ranging from stroke and amputations, to blindness,.. but this disease not only can  cost you physically with your health.. but also financially.

The cost of managing diabetes has more than doubled in the past 20 years.

According to CDC study,  the average diabetes patient now spends almost $2,800 dollars more per year and more than half of that additional cost, 55 percent  is for medication, 24 percent for inpatient visit, 15 percent for outpatient visits, and 6 percent for ER visits.

Dr. Henry Williams says "There's a lot of things, the cost of medicine has gone up, we have an expensive health care system, but it's an excellent high quality system, but the real drivers are it is extremely prevalent."

That's why education is so important.  We spoke with Rosemary Ertel from the Diabetes and Nutrition Center at Memorial Hospital.

Rosemary Ertel, Diabetes & Nutrition Center says "We do classes for patients that are newly diagnosed with diabetes, just wanting to learn diet and carb counting, we also have a pre diabetes class we do in here and also education for people having weight loss surgery in here as well."                                               

Both Rosemary and Dr. Williams agree, the growing trend with an ever increasing cost of diabetes is headed down a dangerous and unsustainable path .. which is why it is imperative to reverse this growing epidemic... and they say that begins with the patient.

Dr. Henry Williams says "A lot of the problem relates to people need to take ownership of their disease and take responsibility for themselves."

And while there is a lot of work to do, Dr. Williams says he is hopeful because research shows promising new treatment on the horizon, and patients are getting better care and living longer.

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