Back to Press Releases

Gallup and Sharecare Release New Research on the Cost of Diabetes to U.S. Communities and Employers


Cost of Diabetes Exceeds $20 Billion in Lost Productivity to U.S. Employers Due to Missed Work Days

WASHINGTON, D.C. & ATLANTA (November 14, 2017) — World-leading analytics and advice firm, Gallup, and Sharecare, the digital health company helping people manage all their health in one place, have released new research from the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index on the cost and well-being implications of diabetes to U.S. communities and the economy. The new research coincides with World Diabetes Day and serves as a valuable resource for providers, employers and community leaders, as they address this rising epidemic within their populations.

The prevalence of diabetes increased from 10.6% in 2008 to 11.5% for the first nine months of 2017, an increase which has had a direct impact on health care costs and health outcomes. If the diabetes rate had remained at its 2008 level, about 2.3 million fewer U.S. adults would have the disease today, and healthcare costs due to diabetes would be an estimated $19.2 billion less than current levels. Costs to employers are significant with more than $20 billion annually in lost productivity, stemming from 57 million additional unplanned missed workdays by workers with diabetes.

The new research also analyzes the impact of diabetes on communities. Those communities with the highest prevalence of diabetes have residents with higher disease burden including higher obesity rates, heart disease, diagnosed depression, and physical pain. The higher prevalence communities also have fewer residents who exhibit healthy behaviors – a lower percentage of residents exercise regularly, fewer eat healthy, and more residents smoke. By contrast, communities with low diabetes rates are more likely to have residents who are productive and vital based on key purpose and community well-being metrics, including using strengths daily, learning or doing something interesting daily, and feeling pride in their community.

“As the prevalence of diabetes rises, its impact strikes at the vitality of everyday life. We need to push for more education and resources,” said Dr. Steven Edelman, Founder and Director, Taking Control of Your Diabetes, a non-profit organization that educates and motivates people with diabetes to take a more active role in their condition. “Patients should ask their employer, their doctor, and their local hospital how they can get support to better take control of their disease. And, in turn, healthcare providers should expand lifestyle management programs, as well as education specifically targeted at diabetes and prediabetes.”

Health systems, hospitals, physician groups, employers, community leaders and other champions of population health are increasingly implementing inpatient and outpatient solutions to help people better manage their condition and prevent those at risk from developing the disease.

“Diabetes management programs can have a widespread and positive lasting impact on patients, employers, and the communities in which they reside,” said Sheila Holcomb, vice president, Sharecare Diabetes Solution. “An opportunity exists for partnerships between the local and regional hospitals and employers to offer diabetes education and training in the workplace. This collaboration has tangible and proven value for the individual, the community in which they live and the place at which they work.”

The research in State of American Well-Being: Cost of Diabetes in the U.S.: Economic and Well-Being Impact is based on multiple data sets. A subset of 354,473 telephone interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted from January 2, 2015 to December 30, 2016 as part of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, is used to compute the community comparisons. Gallup conducts 500 telephone interviews a day with randomly selected Americans to gather their perceptions of well-being for a resulting sample that projects to an estimated 95% of all U.S. adults.

For more information and to access the complete report, visit

About the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index

The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index is the world’s largest data set on well-being, with over 2.5 million surveys fielded to date. The Well-Being Index provides unmatched, in-depth insight into the well-being of populations, is frequently cited by national media, and has been leveraged by Nobel laureates and academicians for peer-review and scholarly articles.

The partnership between Gallup and Sharecare merges decades of clinical research, health care leadership and behavioral economics expertise to track and understand the key factors that drive greater well-being for individuals and populations. Previously known as the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index™ was recently rebranded following Sharecare’s 2016 acquisition of Healthways. This rebrand signifies a new and exciting union of the powerful insights generated by Gallup and meaningful health engagement fostered by Sharecare, to create a healthier world through knowledge, information and action. To learn more, visit

About Sharecare

Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive life. In addition to providing individual consumers with direct access to award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare also helps providers, employers and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit