Children who have diabetes incur medical costs of more than $9,000 a year, a number that is six times greater than for children who don’t have the disease, a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found.
Most of the expenses are for prescription drugs and outpatient care. “Most youth with diabetes need insulin to survive and the medical costs for young people on insulin were almost 65 percent higher than for those who did not require insulin to treat their diabetes,” said Ann Albright, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.
Type 1 diabetics cannot produce insulin and so must receive insulin treatment. Type 2 diabetics, whose bodies no longer handle insulin properly and slowly lose the ability to make it, are generally treated with oral medications that control glucose levels in the blood. More than 90 percent of young diabetics are on insulin. Type 2 diabetes is extremely rare in children younger than 10 years of age. It is infrequent in children and teens 10 to 19 years old.
The study looked at medical costs for children and teens less than 20 years of age who were covered by employer-sponsored private health insurance plans in 2007. Estimates were based on administrative claim data from almost 50,000 children, including 8,226 diabetics. (Read more)