Diabetes costs high for children

It is hugely expensive to care for a child with diabetes, according to new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The annual average medical costs for a child with diabetes is $9,061, compared to just $1,468 for a child without the disease, according to the study.

The costs were tied primarily to the purchase of prescription drugs and for outpatient care. Children whose diabetes was being treated with insulin had even higher costs: $9,333 per year. Those children who received oral medications to control their blood glucose cost significantly less: $5,683 per year.

However, 92 percent of children are treated with insulin, compared to less than 30 percent of adults with the disease.

The data was compiled based on information in the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounter Database for 50,000 children 19 years or younger covered by employer-based healthcare insurance in 2007. The CDC's findings were published in the May issue of the medical journal Diabetes Care.

To learn more:
- read the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article
- read the CDC press release