Diabetes, The Twisted Road
Two new studies just released on diabetes should serve as a wake up call to the powers that be; but of course, that won't happen.
The National Changing Diabetes Program (NCDP) study was released today at a briefing of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus. The study concluded that:
- One out of every eight U.S. federal health care dollars is spent treating people with diabetes. (Not bad for a disease that was considered a rarity 30 years ago.)
- It costs $80 billion dollars more to provide medical care for people with diabetes than without.
And that was based on 2005 data. As we know, the incidence of diabetes is increasing yearly and the costs along with it – all over the world.
The study's recommended solution? We need a National Diabetes Coordinator. They might as well have called for another study. At least they didn't call for a Diabetes Czar!
The second study, published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that despite all the great advances in medicine we've made, and all the miracles we see doctors perform on dramatic TV shows, female diabetics are dying at higher rates than they were three decades ago. Men lower by 43%; women higher by 41%.
So what does it all mean?
- No healthcare program in the world can cover the every spiraling cost of keeping people well if they insist on making themselves sick. Type 2 diabetes is 90% a self-inflicted disease – the result of bad diet and lifestyle choices. We're talking $80 billion and soaring in unnecessary health dollars because people made bad choices. And that's just diabetes…and just in the US.
- Men may be living longer and women dying sooner, but overall the cost of care goes up for people with self-inflicted diseases. As I mentioned, we haven't talked about heart disease or cancer, or deaths from prescription medication or physician error – none of which would occur if people didn't have to go to their doctors for a self-inflicted illness.
- Diabetes is not a one trick pony. So far, at least, it doesn't respond to a single magic bullet drug. Because of its echoing nature, diabetes needs to be addressed on several fronts at once if you want to not just control it, but get rid of it. The medical community has no answer to this fundamental problem. The alternative health community does.