Diabetes affects all persons living in society, not just those who live with diabetes. Many studies have tried to measure this larger societal impact by adding a category of effects called indirect costs. The ADA estimated that the US economy lost USD39.8 billion or USD3,290 per person with diabetes in 2002, as a result of lost earnings due to lost work days, restricted activity days, mortality and permanent disability caused by diabetes 1 . Indirect costs of diabetes in Germany have been estimated at EUR1,328 per person for the year 2001 2 .
One way to create more comprehensive national estimates is to calculate the impact of diabetes on economic growth. No studies have yet done this for diabetes, alone, but in 2005 WHO used econometric models to estimate that diabetes, heart disease, and stroke together would cost ID557.7 billion in lost national income in China between 2005 and 2015, ID303.2 billion in the Russian Federation, ID236.6 billion in India, ID49.2 billion in Brazil and ID2.5 billion even in a very poor country, United Republic of Tanzania (see Figure below) 3 . These are very large losses. WHO limited its calculations to the effects of premature death. Accounting for disability might increase these estimates.
Figure 1 | Projected foregone national income due to heart disease, stroke and diabetes in selected countries, 2005-2015
Source: WHO, 2005 3
1.American Diabetes Association Hogan,P Dall,T. Nikolov,P. Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2002. Diabetes Care..2003; 26(3): 917-932
2.Koster,I. von,Ferber L. Ihle,P. Schubert,I. Hauner,H. The cost burden of diabetes mellitus: the evidence from Germany--the CoDiM study. Diabetologia..2006; 49(7): 1498-1504
3.World Health Organization Preventing Chronic Diseases: A Vital Investment. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2005