United States continues to have highest level of health spending

Sep 11, 2007

The United States continues to spend the most on health care when compared to other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Health care prices and higher per capita incomes are major factors for higher U.S. spending, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Princeton University.

Compared to the average OECD country in 2004, the United States has fewer health resources—physicians, nurses and hospital beds—and lower utilization of these resources. Health spending for chronic health issues, such as obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking, also contributes to high health spending in the United States. The study is published in the September/October 2007 issue of Health Affairs.

“We spend so much more money on health care in the United States than other industrialized countries primarily because our prices are so much higher,” said lead author of the study, Gerard Anderson, PhD, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Using 2004 data, which is the most recent available, the researchers report the following key study results:

The study authors examined the prevalence of chronic disease as an increasing financial burden in the United States and other countries. Five chronic diseases—diabetes, respiratory disease, cerebrovascular disease, heart disease and malignant neoplasm—cause two-thirds of deaths in the United States. Compared to other OECD countries, we have the highest mortality rate for some of these chronic diseases, but not all.

The authors explain that policy makers in the United States and elsewhere need to devote more attention to chronic disease, something that is already beginning to happen. “Policy makers in many countries have recognized the necessity of coordinating efforts to manage chronic disease, especially for people with multiple chronic diseases,” said Anderson. “It is recognized that behaviors such as diet, inactive lifestyle and alcohol and tobacco consumption must be modified in order for chronic disease to decrease, which would in turn reduce overall health care spending.”

Source: Johns Hopkins University

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A digital version of you

Mar 12, 2014

When NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity sends a photograph of the alien landscape back to Earth, it relays the information as digital data, a series of ones and zeros that computers assemble into pictures that ...

"Kissing genes" breakthrough

Nov 14, 2013

In a ground-breaking discovery that will have a major impact on our understanding of the function of DNA, our genetic blueprint, a group of scientists from Wits and the Council for Scientific and Industrial ...

Immigrants less likely to commit major crimes, study says

Nov 05, 2013

(Phys.org) —The perception that immigrants are linked to crime in the United States is something that has existed for decades or longer. However, UT Dallas criminologist Alex Piquero says, that view is not supported by ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Why alcoholism saps muscle strength

Muscle weakness is a common symptom of both long-time alcoholics and patients with mitochondrial disease. Now researchers have found a common link: mitochondria that are unable to self-repair. The results will be published ...