What Are the Most Expensive Diseases in Employee Wellness?
It’s expensive to be unhealthy. In a lifetime, the aches, pains, and chronic conditions of unhealthy lifestyle habits can be devastating to the wallet, as well as the body. Employee wellness makes businesses more financially stable, while improving the lives of individual workforce members. We talk a lot about the complexities of specific conditions on this blog. This week, let’s compare the national cost of various conditions. Before reading on, try to guess what the most expensive health condition is for the United States.
10) High Cholesterol. $34.5 Billion
Some people have high cholesterol because of genetic predisposition. Others have it because of high-fat diets with little exercise to balance it out. Most people with high cholesterol have some combination of the two. It’s a major precursor to heart disease.
9) Kidney Disease. $38.1 Billion
About 10% of US adults have kidney disease, usually resulting from diabetes and/or high blood pressure.
8) Mental Illness. $57.5 Billion
There are many forms of mental illness, most requiring medication, therapy and other expensive remediative measures.
7) Arthritis. $74.4 Billion
This autoimmune disease plagues more than 50 million US adults. It can result in pricey procedures such as knee replacements.
6) Lung Diseases. $79.6 Billion
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder can start at birth, or be the result of smoking and poor air quality.
5) Obesity. $147 Billion
America isn’t the heaviest nation in the world, as is sometimes assumed, but that doesn’t mean we’re fit as a fiddle. More than 65% of Americans qualify as obese – a condition which contributes to many chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease.
4) Cancer. $157 Billion
Being cancer-free is a function of the immune system. As we age, our immune systems weaken, which is why cell mutations typically become cancerous in older people. There is no cure for cancer which, after all, is a diverse set of illnesses which are not always closely related, but there is progress in research, maintenance and therapy.
3) Dementia. $159 Billion
Another tricky condition that is hard to completely avoid, especially as people age, dementia drives up living costs considerably. Long term care of dementia patients is the driving cost factor here, even if there are no other chronic conditions present.
2) Diabetes. $176 Billion
Diabetes can be either congenital or acquired. In either case, it is a nagging illness to treat and one that commonly causes health complications. In acquired Diabetes (Type II), lifestyle factors such as diet, sedentary living and obesity are usually the prime cause.
1) Heart Disease. $194 Billion
Heart Disease is the most expensive medical condition in the United States. Brought on by unhealthy living, stress and other factors, it contributes to heart attacks, strokes and many other horrible patient outcomes. When heart disease strikes, it can take over a patient’s life, making it extremely expensive for a broad segment of society.
Hanson Medical Systems can help you and your workforce prevent chronic diseases, with healthcare consulting services that can put new employee wellness programs into motion. Our battery of POC testing resources are another way to help stop these illnesses before they start, both reducing treatment & insurance costs and improving the lives of the people who work for you.