Diabetes is a chronic condition which affects nearly 29 million Americans and is a major cause of other chronic conditions, including heart disease, eye disease, and stroke. Diabetes was the seventh leading U.S. cause of death in 2009 and 2010. Management of diabetes costs nearly $245 billion annually, and patients with diabetes have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than those for patients without diabetes.
A new NCHS report shows the trend from 2005 through 2010 for visits to office-based physicians by patients with diabetes, and describes age differences in the utilization of health care by patients with diabetes in 2010.
Key Findings from the Report:
- Office-based physician visits by patients with diabetes increased 20%, from 94.4 million in 2005 to 113.3 million in 2010, but the rate did not change between 2005 and 2010.
- The visit rate for diabetes increased with age and averaged 1,380 visits per 1,000 persons aged 65 and over in 2010.
- A majority of visits made by patients with diabetes (87%) were by those with multiple chronic conditions, and the number of chronic conditions increased with advancing age.
- Medications were prescribed or continued at a majority of visits (85%) made by patients with diabetes, with the number of medications prescribed or continued increasing as age increased.