Medical costs of fourteen occupational illnesses in the United States in 1999

J Paul Leigh, Shagufta Yasmeen, Ted R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. This study estimated the annual medical costs associated-with 14 occupational illnesses in the United States in 1999. Methods. National data sets collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, the Health Care Financing Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality were aggregated and analyzed. The cost assessment began with estimates of national health expenditures. These included categories for hospital care, professional services, nursing homes, and medical products, including drugs, administration, public health activities, research and construction. The total disease burden was assessed from estimates of hospital days and number of outpatient visits. The occupational disease burden was assessed by multiplying the total disease burden by a given percentage of the proportionate attributable risk for the disease in question. The occupational burden was then combined with costs for each disease. Adjustments were made for unique inpatient and outpatient costs. Results. In the preferred model, the 14 diseases generated USD 14.5 billion in medical costs in 1999. Roughly USD 10.7 billion was attributed to men and USD 3.8 billion to women. The diseases generating the most costs were as follows: circulatory diseases in the age group 24-64 years (USD 4.7 billion), cancer (USD 4.3 billion), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (USD 2.2 billion), and asthma (USD 1.5 billion). A sensitivity analysis generated alternative estimates. An upper age limit of 74 years increased the circulatory disease estimate by USD 3.7 billion. The range of the sensitivity analysis was USD 9.6-19.7 billion. Conclusion. This study significantly improves over the methodology of previous literature. Our methods were transparent. Occupational illnesses were a major contributor to the total cost of medical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-313
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Volume29
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003

Fingerprint

Occupational Diseases
illness
Disease
Costs and Cost Analysis
costs
cost
circulatory disease
Costs
Health care
health care
Public Health Administration
Sensitivity analysis
Outpatients
sensitivity analysis
age limit
National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.)
occupational disease
health statistics
health expenditure
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.)

Keywords

  • Economics
  • Jobs
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Toxicology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Medical costs of fourteen occupational illnesses in the United States in 1999. / Leigh, J Paul; Yasmeen, Shagufta; Miller, Ted R.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Vol. 29, No. 4, 08.2003, p. 304-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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