Effect of Diabetes on Healthcare and Nursing
It can be argued that there is no greater health concern in the world, and in particular, the United States than the rapidly increasing number of people diagnosed with diabetes. Relatively recent changes to the diet and lifestyle of the general public have created a "perfect storm" of conditions that seem to perpetuate the onset of diabetes in an increasing number of people on a daily basis.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the annual economic cost directly related to diabetes in 2002, including costs of diabetic care and chronic diabetes-related complications was $92 billion. According to the same survey, indirect costs of diabetes, including lost workdays, restricted activity, deaths, and disability related to diabetes was over $40 billion, bringing the total annual cost of diabetes to approximately $132 billion. Diabetes alone represents 11% of the annual US healthcare spending, and people who have diabetes spend an average of 2.4 times as much on healthcare as people who don't have diabetes. It is estimated that diabetes causes roughly 88 million disability days every year due to hospitalizations and sick days. It is estimated that diabetes affects 246 million people worldwide; a number that is expected to grow to over 350 million by the year 2025 (IDF 2007). Because type-2 diabetes (also known as adult-onset diabetes) makes up 90-95% of all cases of diabetes in the world, the remainder of the paper will be primarily devoted to discussing this type.
It is the responsibility of the nurses to work with doctors and nutritionists to teach patients and to reinforce to them the importance of factors such as: eating the right types of foods, regularly monitoring their blood sugar, and properly administrating insulin if/when it is needed. Too often patients who are diagnosed with diabetes only hear one quick speech from a doctor that supposedly encompasses what diabetes is, the dangers and potential...
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