Ann Albright, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention division of diabetes translation, says much of the additional medical costs for youth with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are due to prescription drugs and outpatient care.
Children and adolescents who received insulin treatment -- mostly those with type 1 diabetes -- had annual medical costs of $9,333, compared to $5,683 for those who did not receive insulin -- mostly those with type 2 diabetes -- but took oral medications to control blood glucose, Albright says.
The study examined medical costs for children and teens age 19 or younger insured through employer-sponsored private health insurance plans in 2007, using the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database, Albright says.
The study involved 50,000 youth, including 8,226 with diabetes.
"Young people with diabetes face medical costs that are six times higher than their peers without diabetes," Albright says in a statement. "Most youth with diabetes need insulin to survive and the medical costs for young people on insulin were almost 65 percent higher than for those who did not require insulin to treat their diabetes."
The study is scheduled to be published in the May issue of the journal Diabetes Care.