NEW YORK Prevention — thankfully — has become a buzz word in all the talk about health reform, and it is clear that any meaningful legislation will likely include an enhanced focus on preventative care, wellness and early stage intervention. The long-term effect: better health outcomes and lower costs.
The country spends $1.7 trillion a year on chronic diseases, and diabetes accounted for $218 billion of that in 2007. Because Type 2 diabetes is preventable and new treatments are emerging for Type 1, reducing diabetes’ prevalence and increasing treatment of those who have it would certainly put a dent in the country’s healthcare spending.
People with Type 1 diabetes are born with it, but Type 2 — the most common kind — can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a good diet, and early intervention that includes recognition of pre-diabetes and risk factors for developing the disease, will also go a long way to reducing its adverse effects on the country, the healthcare system and patients themselves.