Medical Care Expenditures for Individuals with Prediabetes: The Potential Cost Savings in Reducing the Risk of Developing Diabetes

Popul Health Manag. 2017 Oct;20(5):389-396. doi: 10.1089/pop.2016.0134. Epub 2017 Feb 13.


The United States has 86 million adults with prediabetes. Individuals with prediabetes can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes through lifestyle modifications such as participation in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), thereby mitigating the medical and economic burdens associated with diabetes. A cohort analysis of a commercially insured population was conducted using individual-level claims data from Truven Health MarketScan® Lab Database to identify adults with prediabetes, track whether they develop diabetes, and compare medical expenditures for those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes to those who are not. This study then illustrates how reducing the risk of developing diabetes by participation in an evidence-based lifestyle change program could yield both positive net savings on medical care expenditures and return on investment (ROI). Annual expenditures are found to be nearly one third higher for those who develop diabetes in subsequent years relative to those who do not transition from prediabetes to diabetes, with an average difference of $2671 per year. At that cost differential, the 3-year ROI for a National DPP is estimated to be as high as 42%. The results show the importance and economic benefits of participation in lifestyle intervention programs to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: diabetes prevention program; lifestyle intervention; prediabetes; return on investment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cost Savings / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prediabetic State* / economics
  • Prediabetic State* / epidemiology
  • Prediabetic State* / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Young Adult