What The Numbers Reveal About Costs, Complications and Prevalence of Diabetes

30. November 2021
Jeff Hall, Senior Contributing Editor

In 2017, the cost of treating diabetes in the United States was $237 billion with approximately one-third of those costs attributable to treating diabetic foot disease. In contrast, total costs for treating cancer in the U.S. were $80.2 million.1 In other words, the costs of treating diabetic foot disease are similar to the costs of treating cancer.

Multiple studies have shown that greater than 50 percent of these patients who have a major amputation due to a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) will be dead in five years.1

The numbers continue to be alarming. A 2018 report estimated that diagnosed diabetes will affect 39.7 million people (or 13.9 percent of the population) in the U.S. in 2030, and increase to 60.6 million people (or 17.9 percent of the population) in 2060.2

Recognizing the realities of diabetes and the impact of complications upon the lives of those who have the disease, ALPS was formed to promote interdisciplinary alliances and explore the emergence of preventive technologies to improve limb salvage outcomes in this patient population.

With your donation to ALPS today, you can support our continued efforts to maximize ulcer-free, hospital-free, and activity-rich days for high-risk patients with diabetes and significant vascular compromise.


1. Armstrong DG, Swerdlow MA, Armstrong AA, Conte MS, Padula WV, Bus SA. Five year mortality and direct costs of care for people with diabetic foot complications comparable to cancer. J Foot Ankle Res. 2020;13(16). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13047-020-00383-2

2. Lin J, Thompson TJ, Cheng YJ, et al. Projection of the future diabetes burden in the United States through 2060. Popul Health Metrics. 2018;16(9). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12963-018-0166-4

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