Economic burden of diabetes type 2 worldwide Essay Example


Economic Burden Of Diabetes Type 2 Worldwide

Economic Burden Of Diabetes Type 2 Worldwide

Literature Review

Diabetes Prevalence

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of non-communicable deaths globally. The prevalence of diabetes has risen exponentially over the last four decades with statistics indicating that the number of people with diabetes has growth from 108 million in 1980 to more than 422 million people in 2014 (World Health Organization 2015). The rate of diabetes has been rising rapidly especially in middle and low-income nations. In 2012, more than 1.5 million mortalities were directly related to diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common in the world with reports indicating that type 2 diabetes makes up about 85 to 90% of all diabetes cases (Zhang & Gregg, 2017). In middle and low-income countries, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes was projected to increase by 69% and 20% in developed nations between 2010 and 2030.

Direct Cost of the Disease to Individuals

Diabetes has both direct and indirect costs to persons and families. The direct costs of diabetes to the population is the cost incurred in medical care, buying drugs, insulin and other supplies necessary to manage the disease. Globally, people suffering from diabetes type two are burdened by having to spend a lot of money in seeking treatments and buying insulin and medical equipments that are necessary to manage the condition. According to Bommer (2017), direct cost of diabetes management was estimated at about US$1·31 trillion globally. This cost is expected to increase with the increased prevalence of the diseases. The burden of diabetes is particularly grave in low-income nations because of lack of insurance cover to cater for the medical expenses and this makes it difficult for low-income patients to have access to medical care or insulin to manage the condition as reported in Sub-Saharan Africa (Brown et al., 2014).

Indirect Costs on government

Diabetes presents economic burden not only to individuals, but also to the governments. Currently, most countries across the globe are spending a huge part of their budgets on diabetes prevention and treatments. In a study conducted by the Imperial College London, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the WHO in 2014 found that the worldwide cost of diabetes is $825 billion annually (Harvard T.H. Chan, 2015). In China, the government spends approximately $170 billion, India $73 billion and the United States $105 billion. In Brazil, the government spends approximately $3.9 billion, Mexico $2. Billion and Argentina $0.8 billion every year (Harvard T.H. Chan, 2015). Overall, statistics show that the direct health care cost of diabetes is about 2.5 to 15% annually depending on the rate of diabetes and the sophistication of treatment available in any given country.

Indirect Cost of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes has indirect cost on individuals because it affects the ability of the people with the disease to continue working. In particular, studies show that diabetes affects the productivity of individuals with the disease. According to the World Health Organization (2015), patients with severe diabetes complications are more likely to report high cases of absenteeism, premature retirement and death and disability, which results in lost productivity. In additional, diabetes has a cost burden even to the families of the patients who also suffer lost earnings because of diabetes and its complications. According to Brown et al. (2014), about 15% of families with diabetic patients stop work to take care of their ailing diabetic patients while about 20% cut back work for the same reasons and this affects them economically.


Bommer, C., Heesemann, E., Sagalova, V., Manne-Goehler, J., Atun, R., Bärnighausen, T., Vollmer, S. (2017). The global economic burden of diabetes in adults aged 20–79 years: a cost-of-illness study. Diabetes & Endcrinology, 5(6), 423–430.

Brown, J. B., Ramaiya, K., Besançon, S., Rheeder, P., Tassou, C. M., Mbanya, J. C., Schneider, E. (2014). Use of medical services and medicines attributable to diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa. PloS one, 9(9), e106716. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106716

Harvard T.H. Chan. (2015). Cost of diabetes hits 825 billion dollars a year. Retrieved from

World Health Organization, (2015). Global report on diabetes. Retrieved from

Zhang, P., & Gregg, E. (2017). Global economic burden of diabetes and its implications. Diabetes & Endocrinology, 5(6), 404–405.