Helping employees to keep their blood glucose within an appropriate range can have “tangible and proven value for both the individual and the company's bottom line." (Image: Shutterstock)

The human cost of diabetes is, of course, great — but the cost to employers isn’t so small, either, with unplanned and missed days of work adding up to more than $20 billion a year.

And with type 2 diabetes on the increase among U.S. adults, that number looks likely to rise. The Cost of Diabetes in the U.S.: Economic and Well-Being Impact, a new report by Gallup researchers and health and wellness engagement firm Sharecare, finds that diabetes has increased from 10.6 percent of U.S. adults in 2008 to 11.5 percent in the first nine months of 2017.

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