World Diabetes Day: Cost and prevention of the condition

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — World Diabetes Day is November 14 and it’s a day to raise awareness of the everyday reality of more than a half-a-billion people worldwide, to improve their lives.

There are two types of diabetes you can be diagnosed with:

  • Type 1, a genetic condition that often can’t be prevented
  • Type 2, a condition that can be prevented by lifestyle choices

According to the CDC, more than 37 million Americans have diabetes and approximately 90-95% of them have Type-2 diabetes. 88 million adults also have pre-diabetes.

There are always things you can do to keep your diabetes in check and even prevent getting a diagnosis, which includes making some lifestyle changes.

“That would just be having a healthy diet, exercising and staying on top of all of your other health measures, also your blood pressure – all those will really help with the long-term effects or risks of diabetes,” said Kayla Patterson, the director of affordability at Optum NM, “and partnering with your healthcare provider to make sure you go into the preventive checks is also great.”

Physicians say it’s common for many people to go undiagnosed because they don’t get checked. Undiagnosed or diagnosed, people with diabetes, on average, have medical expenses around 2.3 times higher than people without diabetes.

“There are lots of expenses associated with the downstream effects of diabetes, as well, that can lead to hospitalizations,” Patterson explained. “There are adverse outcomes and other adverse outcomes that have high costs.”

About 30% of those expenses are due to treatment and medication, like insulin. Depending on how severe someone’s diabetes is, some patients have to take medication daily.

Doctors say prevention is key to not only controlling diabetes but controlling costs. To learn more about World Diabetes Day and the condition, visit their website.