AHRQ Data Informs Endocrinologists' Report on the Impact of Diabetes Complications

September 2007

Economic data derived from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) on the prevalence of diabetes-related complications were used in a report titled, The State of Diabetes Complications in America. Issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), in partnership with the members of a diabetes complications consortium, the report is an analysis of national health and economic data specific to type 2 diabetes complications. The consortium included the Amputee Coalition of America, Mended Hearts, the National Federation of the Blind, and the National Kidney Foundation.

The State of Diabetes Complications in America synthesized economic data from the 2000, 2002, and 2004 MEPS with data on prevalence of diabetes-related complications from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine the issue of diabetes-related complications in the United States. Together, the two data sources give a comprehensive overview of the impact of the problem.

The new report looks at the prevalence and cost of type 2 diabetes complications. It shows that an estimated 57.9 percent of the people with type 2 diabetes have at least one other serious health problem commonly associated with the disease, and that these health problems are taking a heavy financial toll. In 2006, the nation spent an estimated $22.9 billion on direct medical costs related to diabetes complications.

Daniel Einhorn, MD, FACE, and Secretary of the Board of Directors of AACE says, "The report makes it clear that we have a major national issue when it comes to diabetes management and that urgent action is needed. People with type 2 diabetes need to achieve and maintain good blood glucose levels over time to reduce the risk of these serious complications."

The report shows that an estimated 33.3 percent of people with the disease has one other serious health problem, 10.3 percent has two other serious health problems, 6.7 percent has three other serious health problems, and 7.6 percent has four or more other serious health problems.

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
Topics(s): Chronic Care, Diabetes
Geographic Location: National
Implementer: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Date: 09/01/2007
Page last reviewed October 2014