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 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The health care costs of treating diabetes and those related to lost productivity attributable to diabetes and its complications have soared to nearly $92 billion in 1992 from $20.4 billion in 1987, according to a study recently completed by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The report, titled "Direct and Indirect Costs of Diabetes in the United States in 1992," examined and compiled the costs related with health care expenditures for the treatment of diabetes, and estimated morbidity and mortality costs and the associated indirect costs due to diabetes.
 "The findings of this report are sobering, especially when you consider the majority of the diabetes price tag is for the complications of the disease," said American Diabetes Association, California Affiliate President Michael Bush, M.D. "This is a wake up call for all people with diabetes to focus their treatment efforts on prevention of long-term complications, not just maintenance. It's time that diabetes patients embrace the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) message that good control of blood sugar levels can prevent the complications of diabetes."
 ADA estimates that nearly 2.8 million Californians have diabetes and that this year the disease's complications will cause nearly 6,000 of the state's residents to suffer lower extremity amputations and up to 4,300 to lose their sight. In addition, diabetes will cause over 300,000 patients to be hospitalized this year at a cost of $1.55 billion to the state of California.
 The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial is a landmark, decade- long study of the impact of blood sugar control on the development of diabetes complications sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health. The DCCT convincingly validated what the American Diabetes Association has long told people with diabetes, based on theory and the results of smaller studies -- that good control of blood sugar levels can delay the onset and dramatically slow the progression of potentially life-threatening complications of the disease, such as kidney disease and blindness.
 Although the DCCT studied treatment of patients with insulin- dependent diabetes (type I), the association's position statement on the trial also urges consideration of tight blood sugar management for many people with non-insulin dependent diabetes (type II), a form of the disease that usually does not require insulin therapy and is treated primarily through diet and exercise.
 "The American Diabetes Association also strongly encourages the Clinton Administration to carefully consider the results of our cost study and the DCCT in the health care reform process. In line with the overall prevention theme of the Clinton proposal, we call on the administration to ensure that the standards of treatment called for by the DCCT be equated with good, basic treatment for diabetes in any final insurance coverage," Bush said.
 Additional key findings of the diabetes costs report include:
 -- Direct costs are estimated at $45.2 billion in 1992.
 -- Direct costs represent 5.8 percent of total personal health-care expenditures in the United States; however, diagnosed diabetes patients account for only 2.8 percent of the total U.S. civilian population.
 -- $39.1 billion (more than 86 percent) was spent on institutional care -- $37.2 billion for hospital care and $1.8 billion for nursing home care.
 -- Patients with diabetes complications (heart and kidney disease, stroke, blindness, amputation) are hospitalized 2.8 days longer on average than nondiabetic patients with the same complications.
 -- Indirect costs (e.g., lost productivity) were estimated at $46.6 billion in 1992.
 Diabetes is a disease that affects the body's ability to produce or respond properly to insulin, a hormone that allows blood glucose (blood sugar) to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy. Currently there is no cure for diabetes.
 The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading nonprofit health organization supporting diabetes research, advocacy and information for health professionals, patients and the public. Founded in 1940, the association has an affiliate office in every state and conducts programs in more than 800 communities nationwide.
 -0- 9/29/93
 /CONTACT: Lisa Murdock of the American Diabetes Association, California Affiliate, 916-369-0999, ext. 218/

CO: American Diabetes Association ST: California IN: HEA SU:

LH-TM -- SF010 -- 6886 09/29/93 14:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1993

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