Study: Three in five diabetics have complications

New research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists suggests that the majority of U.S. diabetics--a full three out of five--experience at least one major, costly complication, including heart disease, stroke, eye damage, chronic kidney disease or foot amputation. The research, which analyzed data gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics between 1999 and 2004, also found that one in 10 diabetics has two complications, one in fifteen has there complications and one in 13 has four or more complications. Complications are most prevalent among diabetic Hispanics, at 68 percent. Fifty-nine percent of black diabetics experience complications, and 55 percent of white diabetics face complications, researchers concluded. The cost of treating type 2 diabetes-related complications was $22.9 billion in 2006, in part due to the fact that patients with complications face costs which are three times higher than people without diabetes. "We are using the tools (to control diabetes) too late and spending too much money on complications," said Daniel Einhorn of the Sharp Diabetes Treatment and Research Center, a board member of the endocrinology association.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Daily Health Policy Report item

ALSO: In a startling breakthrough, a researcher at Northwestern University says that a small stem cell trial in Brazil has enabled 13 of 15 patients with type 1 diabetes to stop using insulin to treat the disease for at least six months. Report