Top Ten Most Expensive Medical Conditions

Everyone knows that medical costs have been rapidly rising over the last couple of decades. We have compiled a list of the top ten most costly medical conditions. Surprisingly HIV and cancer are toward the bottom of the list. On the other hand, the cost of keeping someone on a ventilator for 1 year is over a quarter million dollars.



Annual Cost: $25,000

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, better known a HIV, is a very serious condition. Essentially it causes the progressive failure of the immune system. As a result, the body becomes ever more susceptible to opportunistic infections. Ultimately it isn’t HIV that kills you, it is the various infections that occur as a result. The expensive aspect of treating HIV is the massive daily regimen of vitamins, antibiotics, and other medications.



Annual Cost: $49,000

At nearly double the annual cost of treating HIV, cancer is a very difficult condition to treat. Several common treatments are surgical removal of the cancerous masses, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Unfortunately, all of these treatments come at a very high cost.


Organ Transplant

Annual Cost: $51,000

The cost of an organ transplant is typically quite high. This actual transplant occurs during surgery, typically by highly skilled and trained doctors. Consequently, these doctors come at a very high price. Also, many follow up appointments, antibiotics and pain medications, physical therapy, and sometimes blood transfusions occur for many months following the surgery.



Annual Cost: $61,000

The high cost of having a stroke comes with the fact nearly 40% of people who have a stroke experience severe impairments and require special care. The majority of the costs of having a stroke are incurred during the first 90 days after having it.



Annual Cost: $62,000

Hemophilia is a group of hereditary genetic disorders that impair the body’s ability to control blood clotting or coagulation. These disorder is actually quite a bit more common than people realize. About 1 in 10,000 people are born with this hemophilia. Besides being very expensive, the good news is, thanks to modern medicine, the disorder can be controlled and a person can experience a high quality of life.



Heart Attack

Annual Cost: $72,000

A heart attack, known as a myocardial infarction to doctors, is the interruption of blood supply to part of the heart muscle, causing heart cells to be damaged or die. This happens usually from a blockage of a coronary artery. A heart attack requires costly emergency medical attention and months of follow ups with doctors. Nearly 50% of heart attacks are caused by smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise.


Coronary Artery Disease

Annual Cost: $75,000

About 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States are ultimately linked to coronary artery disease. Ultimately it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Some of the largest contributing factors to coronary heart disease include diabetes, being overweight or obese, poor diet, being physically inactive, and excessive alcohol use.



Annual Cost: $101,000

The average of cost of having a baby has dramatically increased over the last decade. All of the medical costs associated with having a baby including pre-birth visits, the actual process of giving birth, and in the months following, add up to more than $100,000 per year. Fortunately for those who have insurance many of these costs are largely covered.


End-Stage Renal Disease

Annual Cost: $173,000

Renal disease is a medical condition in which the kidneys stop adequately filtering the blood. The disease manifests itself in two main forms, acute-injury and chronic kidney disease. Typically the end-stage treatment option, if available, is kidney transplant. Up until then usually dialysis is required, which is a machine that filters you blood externally. All of these medical services come with a very high price.


Respiratory Failure

Annual Cost: $314,000

A complete respiratory failure refers to not being able to breath on your own anymore. The only treatment solution is to hook someone up to a ventilator, which is a machine that breaths for you. It is required to be hooked up to the machine 24 hours a day and under medical supervision. It isn’t difficult to figure out why this is such a costly medical condition.


Featured Image: Flickr by morrissey

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