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Study Shows Impact Of Diabetes On San Diego Health Care Costs

Evening Edition

Aired 5/20/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Sue Babey, co-author, senior research scientist at UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D., Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute

Transcript

Diabetes has been a growing health problem in the U.S. Now a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research finds that diabetes is also adding significantly to health care costs in California.

The lead author of the study says statistics show that the rising rates of diabetes are not only devastating to patients, but to the whole health care system.

Diabetes Resources

CDC info on Diabetes

CDC Diabetes Basic Info

CDC Diabetes Health Concerns

Scripps Whittier DiabetesInstitute

The report finds one in three hospitalized patients in California has diabetes. In San Diego County, additional hospital costs for patients with diabetes run up to $120 million a year.

A diabetic patient costs more during a hospital stay because he or she might not heal as well and requires additional medication, said Dr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas with the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute.

Philis-Tsimikas called Type 2 diabetes a skyrocketing problem. She said both Type 1 and Type 2, also called adult-onset diabetes, are caused by genetics.

"Controlling weight is the best way to prevent and control diabetes," she said. "If people could lose 7 to 10 percent of their body weight, that would probably prevent the onset of diabetes or at least manage it and stabilize it."

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