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Diabetes

Why Employers Care

Approximately 8% of Americans (26 million) have diabetes.1 Another 35% (79 million) have prediabetes and are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.2 Diagnosed diabetes cost the U.S. an estimated $245 billion in 2012, a 41% increase from 2007.3

Diabetes is expensive and can affect worker productivity. The $245 billion includes $176 billion for direct medical costs (such as hospital and emergency care, visits to the doctor, and medications), as well as an estimated $69 billion resulting from indirect costs like absenteeism, reduced productivity, diabetes-related job loss, and productivity loss due to premature deaths.3

What Can Employers Do?

Research shows that good glycemic control may help reduce the incidence of long-term diabetes complications like vision decline, kidney disease or damage, nerve damage, and microvascular disease. As such, employers should consider the following activities:

  • Understand the burden of diabetes among your employees, including the prevalence of prediabetes. Approximately 27% of individuals with diabetes and 90% of individuals with prediabetes remain undiagnosed.
  • Develop a supportive work environment.
  • Identify strategies to improve diabetes care among those with the condition and to prevent the transition from prediabetes to diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study showed that people with prediabetes can decrease the risk of diabetes by 58% with lifestyles changes.1
  • Implement education programs to teach employees about diabetes and other diabetes-related diseases.



References (show references)

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes: Successes and opportunities for population-based prevention and control: At a glance 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/ddt.htm. Accessed November 7, 2011.

2 American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Basics: Prediabetes. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/. Accessed November 7, 2011.

3 American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2012. Diabetes Care. 2013 Apr;36(4):1033-46. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/03/05/dc12-2625.full.pdf+html. Accessed December 12, 2013.

Page last updated: December 12, 2013

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