WASHINGTON — High school students with diabetes have a significantly higher dropout rate and will earn about $160,000 less in their lifetime than those without the disease, according to a study released Monday by the Health Affairs Journal.

“Diabetes has a marked effect on schooling and earnings early in life, yet these are relatively unexamined implications of the disease, “said the study’s lead author, Jason M. Fletcher, an associate professor of public health at Yale University.

The information was taken from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent health that followed 15,000 teenagers into adulthood.

The study found that the 2.6 percent of teenagers with diabetes in the data set had a six percent greater high school dropout rate than those without the disease.

The constant “management” of diabetes may be a reason for these new findings, said the study’s other author Michael R. Richards, a Ph.D student at Yale.

“[Diabetes] is a chronic disease and requires a lot of care and intervention on the patient side, and so it may be difficult to manage the demands of the disease along with the demands of schoolwork,” Richards said.

In adulthood, the authors believe that employers are less likely to invest in diabetics because of health concerns, and diabetics may suffer from “job lock,” the fear of losing health benefits by changing jobs.

By age 30, the study said diabetics are ten percent less likely to have a job and will earn $6,000 less per year than those without the diseases.

Even with these findings, recent development in diabetes treatment such as insulin pumps and Internet driven blood monitors have reached the market.

The non-medical consequence of diabetes, especially on the youth, has been “understudied” Richards said.  The report calls for earlier detection and prevention strategies from both policy makers and health care professionals “given how soon the disease’s effects emerge and how profound the impact is later in life.”

The main factor in preventing Type 2 diabetes is physical activity and the development of healthy habits through physical education, said Cheryl Richardson, the senior program manager for the National Association for Sport and Fitness.

“What children take away from a quality P.E. program (is) the skill, the knowledge and the motivation to be physically active outside of school and hopefully through their lifetime,” she said.

The fitness group lobbies congress for physical education funding, and advocates for P.E. classes in a core curriculum.

Richardson called this study “ammunition” to spread her group’s message on the importance of physical activity and education to promote health and disease prevention.

The findings “highlight the urgency of combating diabetes, a disease that now affects nearly 25 million people in the United states and costs as much as $200 billion a year.”