Comparing the national economic burden of five chronic conditions

Health Aff (Millwood). Nov-Dec 2001;20(6):233-41. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.20.6.233.


Using a nationally representative sample of 23,230 U.S. residents, we examine patterns of economic burden across five chronic conditions: mood disorders, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and hypertension. Almost half of U.S. health care costs in 1996 were borne by persons with one or more of these five conditions; of that spending amount, only about one-quarter was spent on treating the conditions themselves and the remainder on coexistent illnesses. Each condition demonstrated substantial economic burden but also unique characteristics and patterns of service use driving those costs. The findings highlight the differing challenges involved in understanding needs and improving care across particular chronic conditions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / economics
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease / classification
  • Chronic Disease / economics*
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Data Collection
  • Diabetes Mellitus / economics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Health Policy
  • Heart Diseases / economics
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / economics
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / economics
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology