Significant economic burden from diabetes
International team of scientists calculate costs of $1.3 trillion
(pug) The WHO 2016 Global Report on Diabetes estimates that over 420 million adults are living with diabetes. The growing prevalence of diabetes, specifically in low- and middle-income countries, reveals the massive shifts in health trends since the 1990s. In cooperation with an international team of scientists, economists Christian Bommer, Esther Heesemann, Vera Sagalova and Prof. Sebastian Vollmer from the University of Göttingen have calculated that in 2015 the worldwide economic burden of diabetes reached $1.3 trillion or 1.8 percent of the global GDP. The results of the study are published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
In contrast to most earlier estimates, our study incorporates not only the direct costs of diabetes, such as health expenditure for insulin, testing stripes, or the treatment of complications; but also considers indirect costs representing production shortfalls due to morbidity and premature mortality. These indirect costs amount to almost 35 percent of the total economic burden. Prof. Sebastian Vollmer, a professor of development economics at the University of Göttingen and the senior author of the study, says that, ?our estimates demonstrate that ignoring indirect costs would lead to a dramatic underestimation of the true extent of the problem." While the costs of diabetes in countries like Germany and the United States are 1.6 percent and 2.6 percent of the GDP, the study documents that many low- and middle-income countries are also facing a substantial economic burden due to diabetes. According to Christian Bommer, PhD student from Göttingen University and first author of the study, "type-2-diabetes is often seen as a disease of affluence. The fact that the prevalence of diabetes in countries such as India and China are approaching European levels is something many people are not aware of."
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