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People Indicators: Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, also known as “adult onset diabetes”, is a serious chronic illness that is affecting an increasing percentage of the region’s population. Among the factors contributing to Type 2 diabetes: sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and genetic factors. More below…

The reported rates of diabetes understate the scope of the problem. While diabetes is among the top killers in our region, it is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. Conservative projections show that one in four adults in the state will be living with diagnosed diabetes in 2040 (Texas Health Institute, 2010).

The medical management of diabetes is enormously expensive for the diabetic individual and the health care system as a whole. According to the American Diabetes Association, the total cost in the U.S. for diagnosed diabetes in 2011 was $174 billion; direct medical costs were $116 billion and indirect costs, including disability, work loss and premature mortality, were $8 billion. The average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes. In Texas, in 2010, almost 3.3 million people had diabetes at a total direct and indirect societal cost of $29.56 billion. The costs to patients and their families go beyond the financial costs of treatment, to include the burden of disease management and surveillance for complications (HHS, 2012). While the region is now advantaged by its relatively youthful age structure, this will change in the future, and prevention of Type 2 diabetes will become increasingly important.

Sources cited

Texas Health Institute (THI), “Responding to the Epidemic: Strategies for Improving Diabetes Care in Texas,” 2010, Retrieved from

US Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “Diabetes Report Card,” 2012, Retrieved from