Diabetes Prevention could save San Antonio $400 Million

May 3, 2019

Diabetes Prevention could save San Antonio $400 Million

San Antonio – Drs. Thomas Schlenker and Anil T. Mangla of the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) have co-authored a case study titled “Using Systems Science to Inform Population Health Strategies in Local Health Departments: A Case Study in San Antonio, Texas.” This simulation model, recently presented in the national journal Public Health Reports, predicted the implementation of a diabetes prevention program would save $400 million over 20 years for the city in health-care related costs.

The case study demonstrated lowering the diabetic population blood A1c levels by 1 percent resulted in significant reductions in annual cases of kidney failure (97 fewer cases), amputations (215 fewer cases), blindness (577 fewer cases), myocardial infarctions (780 fewer cases) and strokes (349 fewer cases).

Diabetes is currently at epidemic proportions in San Antonio affecting greater than 14 percent of the adult population.  Complications of long-term, poorly controlled diabetes impair the ability of the afflicted to fully participate in the workforce limiting their ability to support their families. Moreover, diabetes is a major determinant of extreme lower life expectancy in lower economic neighborhoods.  This current study indicated a sustained diabetes prevention effort would dramatically improve the lives and reduce health care costs of the residents of San Antonio. 

The study was conducted to prioritize programs and ultimately engage communities and stakeholders using results and projections about potential outcomes and costs.

UIWSOM is committed to these efforts on San Antonio’s south side where a disproportionate number of adults are afflicted with the disease.   


CONTACT:   Margaret Garcia, associate director communications & marketing, (210) 829-6001, mlgarci2@uiwtx.edu