Here are eight of the most costly chronic diseases and conditions, along with three of their biggest risk factors.
The U.S. spends about $3.8 trillion annually on health care. Of that total, about 90% is spent treating people with chronic and mental health conditions. Here are eight of the most costly chronic diseases and conditions, along with three of their biggest risk factors.*
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death among all adults and the fifth leading cause for those 65 or older. In 2010, annual treatment costs were an estimated $159 billion to $215 billion. By 2040, these costs are projected to reach $379 billion to $500 billion annually.
Arthritis affects about 1 in 4 adults, making it among the most common chronic conditions in the U.S. Total costs attributable to arthritis and related conditions was about $304 billion in 2013, including nearly $140 billion for medical costs and $164 billion for indirect costs associated with lost earnings.
More than 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer annually, and almost 600,000 die from the disease, making it the second leading cause of death. The estimated cost of cancer care in 2020 was about $174 billion.
More than 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, and another 88 million adults have prediabetes, puting them at risk for type 2 diabetes. In 2017, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes was $327 billion in medical costs and lost productivity.5
About 3 million adults and 470,000 children and teens younger than 18 have active epilepsy—meaning that they have been diagnosed by a doctor, had a recent seizure, or both. In 2016, health care spending for epilepsy was $8.6 billion in direct costs.
More than 868,000 Americans die of heart disease or stroke every year, accounting for one-third of all deaths. The total cost of these diseases is about $214 billion, including $138 billion in lost productivity.
Obesity affects 19% of children and 42% of adults, putting people at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. It costs the health care system about $147 billion annually.
One in five children between the ages of 6 and 11, and one in four adults have untreated cavities. On average, 34 million school hours are lost each year because of emergency dental care, and over $45 billion is lost in productivity due to dental disease.
More than 16 million Americans have at least one disease caused by smoking, resulting in $170 billion in direct medical costs. Smoking is the nation’s leading cause of preventable disease and death.
Excessive drinking cost the U.S. economy about $249 billion in 2010, with 40% of those costs paid by the public. It is responsible for 88.000 deaths annually, including 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults.