The Economic Burden of Diabetes

Written by Bonnie Sanders Polin PhD
Medications Put an Economic Burden on People with Diabetes
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice’s March 2010 issue brings to us an interesting article titled “Impact of type 2 diabetes mellitus on prescription medication burden and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.”
The researchers assessed the economic burden of diabetes on people with the disease. People with and without diabetes were asked to report on their medications. Of the people with type 2 diabetes, 40% were on one medication, 26% were on 2 medications, 8% were on 3 or more medications.
People with type 2 diabetes reported a significantly higher number of prescriptions and higher out-of- pocket expenses than people without type 2 diabetes. The impact of this means that the average added costs per year for the type 2 diabetic responders based on 4.1 prescriptions was $925.00.
The researchers concluded that people with type 2 diabetes have significant added out-of-pocket expenses due to both co-morbid conditions, plus the use of more than one anti-diabetic medication. 
To learn more, you may access the abstract here.
Many American Adults Have Pre-diabetes and Don’t Know It
The April 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine included research that shows that a full third of US citizens who are 20 years old or older have pre-diabetes. But of that group, 92% do not know of their condition. Of that 92%, only 7% said they had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and only 48% had been tested for diabetes in the previous 3 years.
What the researchers found is that most of these people were men, older, and had risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, no single ethnic group was represented more than any other.
The authors suggested that interventions, including healthier lifestyle and community prevention centers, be available for these people at high risk.
To learn more about this study, click here.
Oral Health and Certified Diabetes Educator Curriculum
Our last headline comes from Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice’s April 2010 issue. The research, titled “A survey of oral health education provided by certified diabetes educators,” addresses the very important dental complications of diabetes. This is why we remind readers to see their dentist and periodontist each year to prevent gum disease. These infections can be dangerous.
This study examined certified diabetes educators’ (CDE) perceptions of their training about oral hygiene and diabetes health. Almost all (93.8%) respondents reported that their curricula did not include an oral health module. The reasons they gave for this is that there wasn’t enough time to cover oral health in the curricula. Also, it wasn’t viewed as important to understand the relationship between oral health and diabetes.
Not surprisingly, those who reported that they didn’t know enough about oral health and diabetes also reported that they did not provide adequate information on the subject for their patients.
The researchers concluded that CDEs should integrate oral health information in their curriculum, so that it can become an integral part of diabetes education.
To read the abstract of this study, click here.