Diabetes Among Older Adults Cost Billions
Using the Health and RetirementStudy (HRS), researchers estimated thatAmericans with diabetes born between1931 and 1941 cost the country a staggering$133.5 billion by the year 2000.For the study, the researchers factoredin sick days, disability, early retirement,and premature death among a nationalhousehold sample of older adults interviewedover an 8-year period as part ofthe HRS. Since 1992, HRS conductedinterviews every 2 years with a nationallyrepresentative sample of 22,000Americans aged 50 and older to evaluatemajor trends in health and economicwell-being.
Reporting in Health Services Research(December 2004), the researchers foundthat between 1992 and 2000 the averageindividual with diabetes lost $2800in wages because of early retirement,$630 due to sick days, and $22,100 as aresult of disability. Because the analysiswas limited to a narrow age group, thetotal cost of lost productivity due to diabetesis much higher, stressed theresearchers.