Diabetes Hospitalization Report 2009 - News Release

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Harrisburg, PA - November 22, 2011 - Hospitalizations for diabetes increased by 10.5 percent between 2000 and 2009 in the state, according to a new report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4.) The report, prepared in collaboration with the Bucknell Institute for Public Policy and the Bucknell Public Interest Program, was released today during National Diabetes Month.

Hospitalizations for which the principal diagnosis was diabetes rose from 21,842 in 2000 to 24,143 in 2009. The 2009 figure was slightly lower, however, than for each of the previous three years. Diabetes hospitalizations in Pennsylvania peaked in 2008 at 24,680.

“The incidence of diabetes and the cost of treating it continue to increase. It now affects nine percent of adult Pennsylvanians. Although hospitalizations dropped somewhat in 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict diabetes cases will rise sharply throughout the United States over the next few decades. This report provides an important look at the long-term trend the disease is taking, and its impact on the health care system in Pennsylvania,” said PHC4 Executive Director Joe Martin.

“The Bucknell University students and their faculty supervisor who assisted in this research are to be commended for their excellent work on this report,” Martin added.

“The data presented us with an opportunity for students to learn how to use large data sets and look for meaning,” said Amy Wolaver, Associate Professor of Economics at Bucknell University.

Diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not use the insulin properly, is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. It can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, lower limb amputations, and blindness.

Among the findings in the report:

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania. Copies of Diabetes Hospitalization Report are free and available on the Council’s website at http://www.phc4.org.