Top 10: Most Expensive Medical Conditions to Treat in the America

Posted by Wicked Sago | Posted in , , | Posted on 9:12 PM


10. Normal Childbirth

$32 billion

The culmination of a human pregnancy or gestation period with birth of one or more newborn infants from a woman's uterus. The process of normal human childbirth is categorized in three stages of labour: the shortening and dilation of the cervix, descent and birth of the infant, and birth of the placenta. In some cases, childbirth is achieved through caesarean section, the removal of the neonate through a surgical incision in the abdomen, rather than through vaginal birth.

9. Back Problems

$32 billion

The pain can often be divided into neck pain, upper back pain, lower back pain or tailbone pain. It may have a sudden onset or can be a chronic pain; it can be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may be radiate into the arm and hand), in the upper back, or in the low back, (and might radiate into the leg or foot), and may include symptoms other than pain, such as weakness, numbness or tingling.

FaceTranspSurgery3 Back pain is one of humanity's most frequent complaints. In the U.S., acute low back pain (also called lumbago) is the fifth most common reason for physician visits. About nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults have back pain every year.

The spine is a complex interconnecting network of nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and all are capable of producing pain. Large nerves that originate in the spine and go to the legs and arms can make pain radiate to the extremities.

8. Osteoarthritis & Other Diseases of the Joints

$34 billion

A group of diseases and mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and the subchondral bone next to it. Clinical manifestations of OA may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, creaking, locking of joints, and sometimes local inflammation. In OA, a variety of potential forces—hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical—may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage -- a strong protein matrix that lubricates and cushions the joints. As the body struggles to contain ongoing damage, immune and regrowth processes can accelerate damage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, subchondral bone may be exposed and damaged, with regrowth leading to a proliferation of ivory-like, dense, reactive bone in central areas of cartilage loss, a process called eburnation. The patient increasingly experiences pain upon weight bearing, including walking and standing. As a result of decreased movement because of the pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax. OA is the most common form of arthritis, and the leading cause of chronic disability in the United States.

"Osteoarthritis" is derived from the Greek word "osteo", meaning "of the bone", "arthro", meaning "joint", and "itis", meaning inflammation, although the "itis" of osteo arthritis is somewhat of a misnomer -- inflammation is not a conspicuous feature of the disease. Osteoarthritis is not to be confused with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease with joint inflammation as a main feature. A common misconception is that OA is due solely to wear and tear, since OA typically is not present in younger people. However, while age is correlated with OA incidence, this correlation may illustrate that OA is a process that takes time to develop -- or that repair and regeneration that may keep pace with damage in the joints of younger people do slow with age. There is usually an underlying cause for OA, in which case it is described as secondary OA. If no underlying cause can be identified it is described as primary OA. "Degenerative arthritis" is often used as a synonym for OA, but the latter involves both degenerative and regenerative changes.

OA affects about 8 million people in the United Kingdom and nearly 27 million people in the United States, where it accounts for 25% of visits to primary care physicians and half of all NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) prescriptions. It is estimated that 80% of the US population will have radiographic evidence of OA by age 65, although only 60% of those will show symptoms. In the United States, hospitalizations for osteoarthritis soared from about 322,000 in 1993 to 735,000 in 2006.

7. High Blood Pressure

$42 billion

A chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. It is also referred to as high blood pressure or shortened to HT, HTN or HPN. The word "hypertension", by itself, normally refers to systemic, arterial hypertension.

Hypertension can be classified as either essential (primary) or secondary. Essential or primary hypertension means that no medical cause can be found to explain the raised blood pressure. It is common. About 90-95% of hypertension is essential hypertension. Secondary hypertension indicates that the high blood pressure is a result of (i.e., secondary to) another condition, such as kidney disease or tumours (adrenal adenoma or pheochromocytoma).

Persistent hypertension is one of the risk factors for strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and arterial aneurysm, and is a leading cause of chronic renal failure. Even moderate elevation of arterial blood pressure leads to shortened life expectancy. At severely high pressures, defined as mean arterial pressures 50% or more above average, a person can expect to live no more than a few years unless appropriately treated. Beginning at a systolic pressure (which is peak pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the end of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are contracting) of 115 mmHg and diastolic pressure (which is minimum pressure in the arteries, which occurs near the beginning of the cardiac cycle when the ventricles are filled with blood) of 75 mmHg (commonly written as 115/75 mmHg), cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk doubles for each increment of 20/10 mmHg.

6. Type 1 & 2 Diabetes

$45 billion

A condition in which the body either does not produce enough, or does not properly respond to, insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Insulin enables cells to absorb glucose in order to turn it into energy. This causes glucose to accumulate in the blood, leading to various potential complications.

Many types of diabetes are recognized: The principal three are:

  • Type 1: Results from the body's failure to produce insulin. It is estimated that 5–10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Presently most persons with type 1 diabetes take insulin injections.

  • Type 2: Results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with absolute insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

  • Gestational diabetes: Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women. It may precede development of type 2 (or rarely type 1) DM.

Other forms of diabetes mellitus are categorized separately from these. Examples include congenital diabetes due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, steroid diabetes induced by high doses of glucocorticoids, and several forms of monogenic diabetes.

5. Asthma & Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

$54 billion

doctor_patient4Refers to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of two commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs causing shortness of breath. In contrast to asthma, the limitation of airflow is poorly reversible and usually gets progressively worse over time.

COPD is caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from tobacco smoking, which triggers an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung. The inflammatory response in the larger airways is known as chronic bronchitis, which is diagnosed clinically when people regularly cough up sputum. In the alveoli, the inflammatory response causes destruction of the tissues of the lung, a process known as emphysema. The natural course of COPD is characterized by occasional sudden worsenings of symptoms called acute exacerbations, most of which are caused by infections or air pollution.

The diagnosis of COPD requires lung function tests. Important management strategies are smoking cessation, vaccinations, rehabilitation, and drug therapy (often using inhalers). Some patients go on to requiring long-term oxygen therapy or lung transplantation.

Worldwide, COPD ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in 1990. It is projected to be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020 due to an increase in smoking rates and demographic changes in many countries. COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the economic burden of COPD in the U.S. in 2007 was $42.6 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.

4. Mental Disorders

$56 billion

A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as part of normal development or culture. The recognition and understanding of mental disorders has changed over time and across cultures. Definitions, assessments, and classifications of mental disorders can vary, but guideline criteria listed in the many cases there is no single accepted or consistent cause of mental disorders, although they are often explained in terms of a diathesis-stress model and biopsychosocial model. Mental disorders have been found to be common, with over a third of people in most countries reporting sufficient criteria at some point in their life. Services for mental disorders may be based in hospitals or in the community. Mental health professionals diagnose individuals using different methodologies, often relying on case history and interview. Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication are two major treatment options, as well as supportive interventions and self-help. Treatment may be involuntary where legislation allows. Several movements campaign for changes to services and attitudes.

3. Cancer

$70 billion

A class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth (division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood). These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which are self-limited, and do not invade or metastasize. Most cancers form a tumor but some, like leukemia, do not. The branch of medicine concerned with the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer is oncology.

Cancer affects people at all ages with the risk for most types increasing with age. Cancer causes about 13% of all human deaths in 2007 (7.6 million).

chinese-traditional-medicine-04_leading Cancers are caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of the transformed cells. These abnormalities may be due to the effects of carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke, radiation, chemicals, or infectious agents. Other cancer-promoting genetic abnormalities may be randomly occur through errors in DNA replication, or are inherited, and thus present in all cells from birth. The heritability of cancers is usually affected by complex interactions between carcinogens and the host's genome.

Genetic abnormalities found in cancer typically affect two general classes of genes. Cancer-promoting oncogenes are typically activated in cancer cells, giving those cells new properties, such as hyperactive growth and division, protection against programmed cell death, loss of respect for normal tissue boundaries, and the ability to become established in diverse tissue environments. Tumor suppressor genes are then inactivated in cancer cells, resulting in the loss of normal functions in those cells, such as accurate DNA replication, control over the cell cycle, orientation and adhesion within tissues, and interaction with protective cells of the immune system.

Definative diagnosis requires the histologic examination of a biopsy specimen, although the initial indication of malignancy can be symptomatic or radiographic imaging abnormalities. Most cancers can be treated and some cured, depending on the specific type, location, and stage. Once diagnosed, cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. As research develops, treatments are becoming more specific for different varieties of cancer. There has been significant progress in the development of targeted therapy drugs that act specifically on detectable molecular abnormalities in certain tumors, and which minimize damage to normal cells. The prognosis of cancer patients is most influenced by the type of cancer, as well as the stage, or extent of the disease. In addition, histologic grading and the presence of specific molecular markers can also be useful in establishing prognosis, as well as in determining individual treatments.

2. Trauma Disorders

$72 billion

Trauma is defined as any body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from accident, injury, or impact. Trauma patients may require specialized care, including surgery and blood transfusion, within the so-called golden hour of emergency medicine, the first sixty minutes after trauma occurs. This is not a strict deadline, but recognizes that many deaths which could have been prevented by appropriate care occur a relatively short time after injury. In many places organized trauma referral systems have been set up to provide rapid care for injured people. Research has shown that deaths from physical trauma decline where there are organized trauma systems.

1. Heart Conditions

$76 billion

Cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular diseases is the class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (arteries and veins).  While the term technically refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system (as used in MeSH), it is usually used to refer to those related to atherosclerosis (arterial disease). These conditions have similar causes, mechanisms, and treatments. In practice, cardiovascular disease is treated by cardiologists, thoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, neurologists, and interventional radiologists, depending on the organ system that is being treated. There is considerable overlap in the specialties, and it is common for certain procedures to be performed by different types of specialists in different hospitals.

kirsty_golding_left_shyamali_jayakody_dr_gerry_dev_1665191384Most countries face high and increasing rates of cardiovascular disease. Each year, heart disease kills more Americans than cancer.
It is the number one cause of death and disability in the United States and most European countries (data available through 2005). A large histological study (PDAY) showed vascular injury accumulates from adolescence, making primary prevention efforts necessary from childhood.

By the time that heart problems are detected, the underlying cause (atherosclerosis) is usually quite advanced, having progressed for decades. There is therefore increased emphasis on preventing atherosclerosis by modifying risk factors, such as healthy eating, exercise and avoidance of smoking.

Source: Wiki

Based on the research provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

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