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From Health Affairs:

In 2013, US Spent More On Mental Disorders Than On Any Other Medical Condition 

Bethesda, MD--A new study, released as a Web First by Health Affairs, estimated health spending by medical condition for the entire US population and found that in 2013, $201 billion were spent on mental disorders--more than on any other medical condition. These estimates, developed under contract to the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis, include health spending by the military and institutionalized populations and are benchmarked to the National Health Expenditure Accounts.

©2016 Health Affairs

Mental Disorders Top The List Of The Most Costly Conditions In The United States: $201 Billion

By Charles Roehrig

Roehrig is affiliated with the Altarum Institute, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This study, part of Health Affairs’ DataWatch series, was funded by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis; it will also appear in the journal’s June issue.

The study, which covers the period 1996-2013, updates a 2009 Health Affairs study that used the same methodology and covered the period 1996-2005. The 2016 study highlights the low rate of increase in spending on heart conditions and cerebrovascular disease during this period. According to the study, the slow spending growth is explained by reductions in smoking and better control of risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, credited with declining death rates for these conditions. The author noted that "reductions in deaths from heart conditions and cerebrovascular disease are likely to drive spending on mental disorders even higher, as more people survive to older ages--when mental disorders, such as dementia, become more prevalent."

About Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print and online, with frequent Web First studies and health policy briefs published at The full text of each Health Affairs Web First paper is available free of charge to all website visitors for a one-week period following posting, it then switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Web First papers are supported in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund. You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter. Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download our podcasts, including monthly Narrative Matters essays, on iTunes. Tap into Health Affairs content with the iPad app.

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