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Jeruba's avatar

What are the five most costly diseases and their prevalence in the U.S.?

Asked by Jeruba (48931points) February 19th, 2010

By “costly” I mean the expense of treatment, in dollars, not in terms of death rate, physical impairment, etc., and I mean on a per-patient basis, not an aggregated sum.

That is, if I have disease A, it is going to cost (me, insurance company, government, someone) $X to treat me, and if I have disease B it is going to cost $Y. And X is greater than Y. Per person. So in terms of costliness, it doesn’t matter whether everyone has the disease or only one person. I am speaking of individual cost.

And then, of those 5 most costly diseases, how do those rank in terms of number of cases in the U.S.? Are the most costly diseases the rarest ones? the most common? somewhere in between?

I tried to look this up through Google and found answers for “most costly” expressed in millions of dollars total, meaning what all the cases taken together cost “us,” and not case by case. This means that the total number of cases is a factor in the ranking; if enough people have the cheapest disease, it will be at the top. I’m trying to separate cost from number of cases and see which are the most expensive diseases a person can have.

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6 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I think you may have to look them, the conditions up individually. Here’s a link on a study about the prevalence of diabetes and costs over the lifetime of the individual. It’s a start.


And it may help you refine your search criteria.

And another link that lists the ten costliest, but this probably duplicates the searches you have already done.

Vunessuh's avatar

I did a little bit of research and it appears as if diabetes is the most costly as well as the most prevalent.
Others include prostrate, colon and breast cancer as well as conditions of the heart such as cardiovascular disease.
I know that degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s can cost people a ton. Those types of diseases are ruthless. It has cost my parent’s a fortune.
Same with Alzheimer’s disease. I saw that on several lists.

lillycoyote's avatar

You also might want to try the CDC. They have a lot of information, studies, summaries, statistic, etc…


CDC Faststats

And again, there seems to be a lot of information on the internets, some of it a little out of date unfortunately, on the lifetime costs on individual diseases and conditions, and types of cancer, but I’m not sure if there’s somewhere where the information is listed all in the same place.

The CDC is a good place to start.

willbrawn's avatar

I don’t know what the top are. But I am sure obesity is among them.

And possibly laziness.

Jeruba's avatar

$32 billion, $500 billion—those are aggregated costs, cost per patient times the number of patients. What I’m asking for is the cost per patient, regardless of the number. Not how much do all diabetics cost the nation but how much does it cost to treat my (one person’s) diabetes (heart condition, pregnancy, alcoholism, cancer, whatever)?

PacificRimjob's avatar






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