The Costs of Chronic Disease in the U.S.

Americans chronic health problems and diseases not only come at the expense of individuals well-being, they also constitute a massive burden on the U.S. economy. When including the costs of lost economic productivity, the total costs of chronic diseases in the U.S. is equivalent to almost one-fifth of the American economy.




This report assesses the overall economic impact of chronic health conditions in America.

Key findings:

  • In 2016, the total costs in the U.S. for direct health care treatment for chronic health conditions totaled $1.1 trillion—equivalent to nearly six percent of the nation’s GDP. 
  • The most expensive conditions in terms of direct health care costs are diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and osteoarthritis.
  • The most common chronic health conditions in the U.S. are hypertension (high blood pressure), dyslipidemia, and osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity is by far the greatest risk factor contributing to the burden of chronic diseases in the U.S.
Updated/Published May 20, 2019