Nearly twice as many Americans will have diabetes by the year 2034, just as spending on the disease will triple, according to US researchers. “We forecast that in the next 25 years, the population size of people with diabetes—both diagnosed and undiagnosed—will rise from approximately 24 million people to 44 million people by the year 2034,” said the University of Chicago’s Dr. Elbert Huang, whose study appears in the journal Diabetes Care. “We anticipate that the cost of taking care of those people — and these are direct medical costs — will triple over the same period of time, going from $113 billion today to $336 billion (per year),” he told Reuters. This is expected to strain Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program that helps the elderly and disabled: the number of people covered is expected to rise from 8.2 million to 14.6 million, just as annual Medicare spending on diabetes jumps from $45 billion to $171 billion. In the study, researchers built a forecasting model of diabetes population costs to track how many people will develop it over the next decades. The study assumes no progress is made in terms of obesity, diabetes prevention, and diabetes care.
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