Diabetes now Accounts for More than Half of all Spending on Healthcare in U.S.


Diabetes accounts for more than half of all spending on health care in the United States, according to a new study.

Data shows that U.S. spending on diabetes diagnosis and treatment reached a record-breaking $101 billion in 2013, and has grown at a rate of 36 times faster than spending on heart disease –the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.

“After adjusting for inflation, we see that every year the U.S. is spending 6 percent more than we spent the year before on diabetes,” said Joseph Dieleman, assistant professor at the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and lead researcher for the study.

“That’s really a remarkable growth rate, notably faster than the economy is growing or health care spending as a whole,” he said.

Dieleman added that growth in health care spending between 1996 and 2013 has been 3.5 percent on average annually .

“Spending on diabetes grew twice as fast as all conditions combined” during that 18-year period, he said.

The study findings were published in the Dec. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The top 10 most costly health expenses:

  1. Diabetes — $101.4 billion.
  2. Ischemic heart disease — $88.1 billion.
  3. Low back and neck pain — $87.6 billion.
  4. High blood pressure — $83.9 billion.
  5. Injuries from falls — $76.3 billion.
  6. Depression — $71.1 billion.
  7. Dental care — $66.4 billion.
  8. Vision and hearing problems — $59 billion.
  9. Skin-related problems — $55.7 billion.
  10. Pregnancy and postpartum care — $55.6 billion.