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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)
4770 Buford Hwy, NE
MS K-40
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717

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Press Room

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NCCDPHP Office of Communication
4770 Buford Hwy., MS K-40
Atlanta, GA 30341

Phone: (770) 488-5131
Fax: (770) 488-5962

CDC’s Chronic Disease Press Releases





For additional CDC releases and announcements visit the CDC Online Newsroom

Quick Facts: Economic and Health Burden of Chronic Disease

Disease/Risk Factors Morbidity (Illness) Mortality (Death) Direct Cost/Indirect Cost


Arthritis affects 1 in 5, or 46 million, US adults, making it one of the most common chronic conditions. Over 40%, or nearly 19 million, adults with arthritis are limited in their activities because of their arthritis. By 2030, nearly 67 million (25%) of US adults will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. In addition, adults with arthritis-attributable activity limitation are projected to increase from 16.9 million (7.9%) to 25 million (9.3% of the US adult population) by 2030. From 1979-1998, the annual number of arthritis and other related rheumatic conditions (AORC) deaths rose from 5,537 to 9,367. In 1998, the crude death rate from AORC was 3.48 per 100,000 population.
The total costs attributable to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions (AORC) in the United States in 2003 was approximately $128 billion ($80.8 billion in medical care expenditures and $47 billion in earnings losses). This equaled 1.2% of the 2003 U.S. gross domestic product.


About 1.3 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.

In 2004, an estimated 553,000 people died of cancer.

NIH estimates that the overall costs for cancer in the year 2007 at 219 billion: of this amount, $89 billion for direct medical costs and $130 billion for indirect costs such as lost productivity.


More than 23.6 million Americans have diabetes, and about 5.7 million don’t know that they have the disease. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death. Over 200,000 people die each year of diabetes-related complications. The estimated economic cost of diabetes in 2007 was $174 billion. Of this amount, $116 billion was due to direct medical costs and $58 billion to indirect costs such as lost workdays, restricted activity, and disability due to diabetes.

Heart Disease and Stroke

More than 80 million Americans currently live with a cardiovascular disease. More than 870,000 Americans die of heart disease and stroke each year, which is about 2,400 people dying every day. The cost of heart disease and stroke in the United States in 2008 is projected to be more than $448 billion including direct and indirect costs.


In 2005-2006 more than 34% of adults aged 20 years or older, were obese.

Over 125 million or 17.1% of children and adolescents 2-19 years of age are overweight.

The latest study from CDC scientists estimates that about 112,000 deaths are associated with obesity each year in the United States. Direct health costs attributable to obesity have been estimated at $52 billion in 1995 and $75 billion in 2003.

Among children and adolescents, annual hospital costs related to overweight and obesity more than tripled over the past two decades.


An estimated 45.3 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes even though this single behavior will result in death or disability for half of all regular users. Tobacco use is responsible for approximately 438,000 deaths each year. The economic burden of tobacco use is enormous: more than $96 billion in medical expenditures and another $97 billion in indirect costs.

For information on the specific chronic diseases and their health and economic impact, please refer to the following:

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Genomics and Health Weekly Update

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Date last reviewed:

Page last reviewed: April 8, 2008
Page last modified: September 22, 2008
Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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