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Trend Data on the Five Most Costly Medical Conditions

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: June 13, 2005

Between 1997 and 2002, total spending for hospital and doctor visits, prescriptions drugs and other treatments for mental disorders rose by more than $11 billion, adjusted for inflation. The number of people being treated for mental disorders rose by more than 11 million. These are the biggest jumps among the top five most costly medical conditions, according to the latest data from the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • In terms of total spending for hospital and doctor visits, prescriptions drugs and other treatments the five costliest medical conditions in the U.S. are:
    • Heart conditions.
    • Cancer.
    • Accidents and other trauma.
    • Mental disorders.
    • Lung conditions.
  • More than 50 million Americans had health expenses related to asthma and other lung conditions in 2002.
  • 36 million had expenses related to accidents and other trauma.
  • Cancer cost the most per person with the condition, but had the fewest number of people with expenses compared with the other four conditions.

For a copy of The Five Most Costly Medical Conditions, 1997 and 2002: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, visit http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st80/stat80.pdf [PDF Help].


 

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