G20 development at risk as diabetes costs soar

The G20’s national productivity and economic growth is at risk due to the increase in diabetes cases and related healthcare costs. New figures released today by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) to mark World Diabetes Day show that diabetes healthcare costs will reach US$566 billion by the end of 2014 across the G20 countries. This represents up to 15% of the total healthcare budget of high income countries. The large majority of diabetes healthcare costs result from late diagnosis and the development of costly complications such as renal failure, blindness and lower limb amputation. Up to 90% of diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes, mostly resulting from rapid lifestyle changes.  

IDF calls on G20 governments to implement national diabetes prevention plans and to introduce policies to reduce sugar, salt and fat intake. Countries investing in tackling type 2 risk factors could save up to 11% of healthcare expenditure per year. For countries like Australia, this equates to a saving of 862 million AUD.

IDF estimates that around the world over 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles, equivalent of up to 150 million new diabetes cases by 2035.

“In terms of national growth and development, health means wealth” said Dr Petra Wilson, CEO, IDF. “It is vital that governments realise that the rising number of diabetes cases negatively impacts on development and has the potential to bankrupt healthcare systems. Making small and effective investments around healthy eating and living makes economic and social sense”.

IDF’s Diabetes Atlas, released on World Diabetes Day, reflects the urgency of action by governments and civil society around the world to halt the rise in diabetes. Diabetes now affects 387 million people, results in close to 5 million deaths annually and consumes US$612 billion in health-related expenditures. The figures also show that diabetes is still disproportionately affecting people between 40-59 years old having a severe impact on workforces globally.

For more information on the state of diabetes in 2014, visit the Diabetes Atlas website