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The cost of diabetes to the Australian healthcare system is estimated at least $3 billion

An estimated 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. The 2005 Australian AusDiab Follow-up Study (Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study) showed that 1.7 million Australians have diabetes but that up to half of the cases of type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed. By 2031 it is estimated that 3.3 million Australians will have type 2 diabetes (Vos et al., 2004).

The total financial cost of type 2 diabetes is estimated at $10.3 billion. Of this, carer costs were estimated as $4.4 billion, productivity losses were $4.1 billion, health system costs were $1.1 billion and $1.1 billion was due to obesity.

A reduction in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will not only result in cost savings in the health budget, but increased participation and productivity in the workforce and, most importantly, better health outcomes and quality of life for Australians.

There is no doubt diabetes is a serious health crisis but it’s not all bad news. Up to 60% of cases of type 2 can be prevented and we know that good blood glucose control and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly improve the complications associated with diabetes.

Sources:
Diabetes Atlas, third edition, International Diabetes Federation, 2007
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: Time to Act, International Diabetes Federation, 2001
AusDiab Report, 2006
The Economic Costs of Obesity, 2006
World Health Organisation Diabetes Uni
NDSS Annual Report 2011-12

Australia''s obesity costs blow out to $21 billion

The figures relate to health care costs such as hospitalisation, medical care and medications and do not include the annual $35.7 billion in government subsidies that overweight and obese people receive.

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