Policy Analysis | February 2008

What is the financial impact of chronic diseases on the U.S. economy?

A groundbreaking study ("An Unhealthy America: The Economic Impact of Chronic Disease") released by the Milken Institute in October 2006 detailed the financial impact of chronic disease on the U.S. economy - not only in treatment costs, but lost worker productivity - today and in the decades ahead. As indicated in the study, over 162 million cases of seven common chronic diseases - cancers, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, mental disorders, and pulmonary conditions - shortened lives, reduced quality of life, and created considerable burdens for caregivers.

The following map shows how states compare based on the prevalence of the seven common chronic diseases.


The following chart depicts the economic impact of these seven chronic diseases in the SLC states.

Economic Impact of Chronic Diseases in the South

State 2003 (Annual Costs in Billions)
Treatment Expenditures Lost Productivity
Alabama $4.7B $18.6B
Arkansas $2.6B $11.3B
Florida $17.6B $68.7B
Georgia $7.1B $32.8B
Kentucky $4.7B $16.9B
Louisiana $4.5B $17.4B
Maryland $5.2B $20.5B
Mississippi $2.9B $12.3B
Missouri $7.1B $21.1B
North Carolina $7.9B $32.1B
Oklahoma $3.3B $13.8B
South Carolina $4.0B $16.8B
Tennessee $6.9B $24.7B
Texas $17.2B $75.3B
Virginia $5.9B $26.2B
West Virginia $2.3B $8.1B

Links to the Milken Institute study (free registration required) and an interactive map of the Milken Institute Chronic Disease Index can be found at: http://www.chronicdiseaseimpact.com/.