Can people with diabetes reduce healthcare cost through healthy lifestyle?

May 10, 2018Diabetes Care

Can people with diabetes reduce healthcare cost through healthy lifestyle?

May 10, 2018

We would all agree that no one likes to go to a doctor. We tend to ignore the starting symptoms of any disease and visit doctors only when our problems become difficult too much for us to handle. But, when disease has already grown to such an extent, its management also requires drastic solutions. This involves a heavy dent on the pocket for expenses related to doctors’ consultation, blood tests and medicines.

But, in order to win our fight against this global epidemic of diabetes, we need to change our approach towards the disease. Diabetes’ chronic and associated complications are the real reason behind the high cost involved in its management.

As per a Times of India publication, in India 85-95% of all health care costs are borne by individuals and their families from household income as most people are not insured. Per NCBI report, intensive lifestyle intervention or metformin could prevent type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults for at least 10 years after randomization.

As far as Indian population is concerned, estimates indicate that for a low-income family having an adult with diabetes, close to 20% of family income is utilized for diabetes care. It increases to 35% for families with a child having diabetes. For a person with diabetes, one is likely to have spent around INR1.5 lakhs on treatment in the first five years of diagnosis, going up to INR4.0 lakhs in 10 years and INR15.0 lakhs in 20 years of treatment. This increase in expenses is because of higher risk of complications in diabetes.

A good diet and regular physical activity regimen helps to reduce upfront costs of potential complications related to uncontrolled diabetes. The conditions such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, skin infections, nerve pain, and difficulty walking properly due to loss of sensation in the feet are most common complications.

A recent Bain Analytic reports supports this fact stating that if a person has an early onset of diabetes and he learns to manage his lifestyle, then his/her annual spend on treatment of diabetes would be close to INR 2,500 annually. This may rise up to 10 times to a level of INR 25,000 for a person with major diabetic complications.

There is even a larger impact owing to indirect costs from lost production as a result of frequent absence from work, inability to work because of disability, premature retirement and even early death as a result of complications. The highest diabetes expenditure borne by a patient is hospitalization for treatment of long-term complications, such as heart disease and stroke, kidney failure and foot problems.

In a nutshell, if you have a diabetes, you must learn to adapt the changed lifestyle as it is the only way to save a big hole in your pocket.



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