In 2018, 34.2 million Americans had Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, while an estimated 88 million American adults aged 18 years or older had prediabetes . Since then, the numbers have continued to grow, with the projected prevalence of diabetes affecting more than 54.9 million Americans by 2030 . As diagnosis rates rise, diabetes is not only a significant issue for those with the chronic condition but also for their employers.
Without the proper screening or management, diabetes can lead to emotional and physical difficulties. As employee health and wellness plays a significant role in firm performance, employers must assess the best ways to support their employees and empower them to live healthier, longer lives. Implementing an effective diabetes screening strategy can help maximize employee health and productivity.
The impact of diabetes on the workplace
Diabetes is a disease that affects people throughout their daily lives, including at work. Although diabetes does not usually impact an individual’s ability to do a certain job, it can adversely impact employee well-being and productivity without proper management. For some people, it can result in missing work or being unable to work full-time, while for others, the symptoms of high or low blood sugar levels can cause distressing symptoms or complications.
With rising diagnosis rates and related costs, diabetes is one of the most expensive diseases affecting employers in the United States. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen from $245 billion in 2012 to $327 billion in 2017 . Of the $327 million in costs, $237 billion was incurred through direct medical costs, while $90 billion was incurred through indirect costs from reductions in productivity. Indirect costs to the workplace include an estimated loss of $3.3 billion from increased absenteeism, $26.9 billion from reduced productivity from those employed, and $37.5 billion from disease-related disability resulting in the inability to work.
The importance of diabetes screening
Screening is crucial to identifying and managing prediabetes and diabetes successfully. Without proper screening, people may remain unaware of their health status. Of the 34.2 million Americans with diabetes in 2018, about 7.3 million were undiagnosed . Early diagnosis can help people with prediabetes make appropriate lifestyle changes, and people with diabetes receive treatment as soon as possible.
Without treatment, diabetes can damage the heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes, and blood vessels. Fortunately, the proper ongoing treatment and support can help with condition management and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Besides positively impacting productivity and costs, workplace health promotion efforts such as diabetes screening can also boost employee morale and retention and company culture.
How LetsGetChecked can help employers expand diabetes screening
Employers play a significant role in improving preventative care for their employees. Providing diabetic screening can identify employees who have prediabetes or help those with diabetes check how their condition is being managed. This prioritization of employee health and wellness can help minimize negative outcomes attributed to diabetes, such as work absences, productivity losses, and frequent health care visits.
LetsGetChecked offers convenient and accurate diabetes testing that employees can take from the comfort of their own homes. Our home Diabetes Test allows people to determine their risk of diabetes (prediabetes) or how well they are managing their diabetes. This test measures the percentage of hemoglobin A1c in the blood, which is red blood cells with glucose attached to them. An A1c between 5.7-6.4% signals prediabetes, while an A1c over 6.5% signals Type 2 diabetes .
We also offer a Diabetes and Heart Test, which can help employees identify or manage diabetes or prediabetes while providing crucial insight into their cardiovascular health. This test is highly beneficial since diabetes and prediabetes increase a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Our Diabetes and Heart Test measure cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the HDL percentage of total cholesterol, and the percentage of Hemoglobin A1c.
Empower employees to live longer, healthier lives
Home diabetes screening is a simple and effective way for employers to protect their most important asset, their employees. LetsGetChecked’s at-home health tests empower employees to take a proactive role in their health. We work with employers around the world to implement effective health screening strategies that help their workforce identify or manage diabetes or prediabetes and minimize their risk of diabetes-related complications. Together, we can keep employees healthier and happier while maintaining productivity and minimizing costs.