NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

UnitedHealth Group

(UNH) - Get Report

says that diabetes could cost the United States $3.4 trillion over the next 10 years.

A study conducted by

the insurer

for National Diabetes Awareness month revealed that more than 60 percent of $3.4 trillion dollars spent on diabetes will be paid for by the U.S government through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid unless more preventative measures are taken to reduce diabetes.

The study also determined that diabetes and prediabetes will account for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending by the end of the decade. That is at an annual cost of almost $500 billion.

The number of Americans with high blood sugar is expected to rise from 93.8 million in 2010 to 135 million in in 2020. Diabetes currently affects about 27 million Americans.

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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