The bad economy is sparing no prisoners in its assault on America, case in point: Diabetics. Despite a serious need to keep up with their testing, medicine and doctor visits, an Associated Press report has discovered that as incomes and health insurance are disappearing, so too are responsible patients.
Regular appointments with doctors are becoming a thing of the past, with diabetics instead seeking aid through tax-subsidized and charity care. Patients with the disease also are more willing to cut corners in terms of medicine, choosing insulin injections based on cheaper prices rather than quality. And with the number of diabetics constantly on the rise--in 2007, 1.6 million more people were diagnosed with the disease--things only seem to be getting worse.
"A third to a half of these people haven't been taking their meds at all," said Dr. Steven Edelman of the University of California, San Diego. Edelman runs a free clinic, and has seen a 30 percent jump in patients looking to get free diabetes medicines and supplies in the last six months.
Dr. Cynthia Paige, medical director of the New Jersey Family Practice Center, is worried that diabetics aren't taking into account all of the repercussions of their actions.
"Sometimes you don't see [diabetes] patients for several months," Paige said. "They don't understand what a nightmare uncontrolled diabetes is and how it's ravaging your body."
To learn more about this plight:
- read this Associated Press story