(HealthDay News) — Approximately two million adults under the age of 65 years with diabetes have no health insurance, according to research published online July 11 in Diabetes Care.

Sarah Stark Casagrande, Ph.D., of Social & Scientific Systems Inc. in Silver Spring, and Catherine C. Cowie, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda — both in Maryland, compared health insurance coverage between 2,704 adults with diabetes and 25,008 adults without diabetes.

The researchers found that, overall, 85 percent of all adults aged 18 to 64 years with diabetes and 78% of those in the same age range without diabetes had some type of health insurance coverage. People with diabetes were more likely to have Medicare coverage and two health insurance sources and less likely to have private insurance compared to those without diabetes. The high cost of health insurance was the most commonly cited reason for people with diabetes having no health insurance coverage.

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“Although the majority of adults 18 to 64 years of age had health insurance coverage, a significant proportion was uninsured (15% of those with diabetes and 22% of those without). This represented approximately two million adults 18 to 64 years of age with diabetes who were not insured, approximately 5% of the total uninsured population in the United States,” the authors write. “This is a large public health concern given that the diabetic population needs routine care to prevent serious diabetes-related complications.”

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