Recession Weighs Heavily on People With Diabetes

| Nov 28, 2010

The economic recession has hammered people with diabetes, according to a new survey. Many say that their health has been harmed by the crisis, and more expect their health to suffer in the future. What's more, most don't expect the government's health reform bill to improve their situation.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Knowledge Networks conducted the study, which asked more than 1,500 people about their health. People with diabetes weren't the only group included; those with heart disease and cancer were also surveyed.

The results paint a bleak picture of life today for people with diabetes:

-- Nearly two in five (39 percent) say that tough times have made their health worse.

-- Nearly one in two (48 percent) say that they expect problems in the future.

-- About a third (34 percent) say that costs related to their disease have drained their savings accounts.

For some, the financial picture is even grimmer. More than a quarter (26 percent) have taken on credit card debt to pay for treatment. Nine percent have had to declare bankruptcy because of medical costs.

Jordon Peugh, vice president of healthcare and policy research at Knowledge Networks, sounded the alarm about these financial strains. "While bankruptcy due to costs of healthcare has gotten national attention, it is also of serious concern that substantial proportions of people with these chronic conditions are depleting their savings and going into debt to pay for needed care," he said.

The troubling facts continue.

-- Slightly more than two in five diabetics (42 percent) say that new economic realities have made managing their disease more difficult.

-- About a fifth of the group (19 percent) have missed or put off medical appointments because of financial pressures.

-- Fifteen percent have skipped recommended lab work.

-- Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of diabetics are checking their blood sugars less often.

Finally, the study asked respondents about their impressions of the mammoth healthcare law passed last year. Patients aren't optimistic; only 14 percent of diabetics think they'll be better off under the law, and 38 percent think they'll do worse.

"Although experts suggest the healthcare reform law has provisions that could help people with illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer," said Robert Blendon, director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program, "many people who have such diseases do not believe it."

The survey is one of a series talking with those who deal with chronic illness. Researchers collected data from 506 people with diabetes, 508 people with heart disease, and 506 people with cancer.

Patients in the other groups responded similarly to the people with diabetes. Cancer patients, however, were less likely to reduce treatments because of fiscal strain. The margin of error was six percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.



Harvard School of Public Health 


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Government & Policy, Health Care, Health Insurance, Medications Research

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (1)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by amysmercer on 2 December 2010

I have to say all this is depressing research is spot on. I for one have stopped using the pumo (omnipod) because of the cost and have gone back to MDI. I also have been forced to cut down on the number of times I test each day because our insurance recently decided to decrease the amount of boxes they will cover. It's flat out depressing and frustrating and I wish I could see a silver lining on the horizon but I just don't. This disease is very expensive, even more so if you want to try and maintain good management.

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.