Diabetes and the Bottom Line: Keeping Employees Healthy, Productive, and at Work

DMEC Staff@Work

diabetesBy Matthew Ceurvels

Director, Product Management
Sun Life Financial U.S.

Diabetes is a widespread chronic health condition that impacts employers through both direct and indirect costs.

Employers are exploring new ways of implementing wellness programs, using employee health data to track results, and focusing on the health conditions that can lead to diabetes — from the more obvious conditions such as obesity and malnutrition to conditions not often addressed in the workplace, such as fatigue and stress. Employers are tailoring wellness and health advocacy programs to address diabetes, improve the health of employees, and help employees live healthy, productive lives.

Diabetes can lead to employees working suboptimally or going on disability, and employers can struggle to maintain productivity and replace talent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29.1 million people in the United States — almost 1 in 11 — have diabetes, about 95% of whom have Type 2. In addition, one in four people who have the disease don’t know they have it, and 86 million Americans are prediabetic. In 2014, the CDC estimated that the total direct and indirect costs related to people with diabetes added up to $245 billion.1

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