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Half of Americans facing diabetes by 2020: report

(Reuters) – More than half of Americans will have diabetes or be prediabetic by 2020 at a cost to the U.S. health care system of $3.35 trillion if current trends go on unabated, according to analysis of a new report released on Tuesday by health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Diabetes and prediabetes will account for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending by the end of the decade at an annual cost of almost $500 billion — up from an estimated $194 billion this year, according to the report titled “The United States of Diabetes: Challenges and Opportunities in the Decade Ahead.”

The average annual health care costs in 2009 for a person with known diabetes were about $11,700 compared with about $4,400 for the non-diabetic public, according to new data in the report drawn from 10 million UnitedHealthcare members.

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