10 most expensive medical problems

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 11, 2008

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In 2005, the United States spent more than $500 billion to care for the 10 most costly health issues, according to a statement issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality last month.

An analysis of data from the agency's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey revealed that heart disease costs more than $76 billion for outpatient, hospital and home care as well as emergency department visits and medication. Trauma leads to $72 billion in health care expenses and cancer another $70 billion. Mental health issues such as depression cost $56 billion and asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease result in $54 billion in medical bills. Hypertension translates to $42 billion in expenditures. Type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis cost $34 billion each, while back trouble and normal childbirth account for another $32 billion a piece.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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