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    Estimating the economic burden of racial health inequalities in the United States.
    Int J Health Serv 2011 ;41(2):231-8
    Department of Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkin University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
    The primary hypothesis of this study is that racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care impose costs on numerous aspects of society, both direct health care costs and indirect costs such as loss of productivity. The authors conducted three sets of analysis, assessing: (1) direct medical costs and (2) indirect costs, using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2002-2006) to estimate the potential cost savings of eliminating health disparities for racial/ethnic minorities and the productivity loss associated with health inequalities for racial/ethnic minorities, respectively; and (3) costs of premature death, using data from the National Vital Statistics Reports (2003-2006). They estimate that eliminating health disparities for minorities would have reduced direct medical care expenditures by about $230 billion and indirect costs associated with illness and premature death by more than $1 trillion for the years 2003-2006 (in 2008 inflation-adjusted dollars). We should address health disparities because such inequities are inconsistent with the values of our society and addressing them is the right thing to do, but this analysis shows that social justice can also be cost effective.

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    Economic cost of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the United States.
    Neurology 2008 Jul;71(1):21-7
    Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, 1800 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036-5831, USA.
    Objective: This study estimated the annual economic cost of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in the United States in 2004, including the direct costs of medical care and the indirect costs due to lost productivity and premature death.

    Methods: The cost-of-illness method was used to determine the costs of medical care and lost productivity, and a modified value of a statistical life approach was used to determine the cost of premature deaths. Data were obtained from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the Compressed Mortality File, a telephone survey of 180 adult patients with GBS, and other sources. Read More
    Economic costs of diabetes in the US in 2002.
    Diabetes Care 2003 Mar;26(3):917-32
    Lewin Group, Inc, Falls Church, Virginia, USA.
    Objective: Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death by disease in the U.S. Diabetes also contributes to higher rates of morbidity-people with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, extremity amputations, and other chronic conditions. Read More
    Racial and ethnic differences in end-of-life costs: why do minorities cost more than whites?
    Arch Intern Med 2009 Mar;169(5):493-501
    Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
    Background: Racial and ethnic minorities generally receive fewer medical interventions than whites, but racial and ethnic patterns in Medicare expenditures and interventions may be quite different at life's end.

    Methods: Based on a random, stratified sample of Medicare decedents (N = 158 780) in 2001, we used regression to relate differences in age, sex, cause of death, total morbidity burden, geography, life-sustaining interventions (eg, ventilators), and hospice to racial and ethnic differences in Medicare expenditures in the last 6 months of life.

    Results: In the final 6 months of life, costs for whites average $20,166; blacks, $26,704 (32% more); and Hispanics, $31,702 (57% more). Read More
    Persons with chronic conditions. Their prevalence and costs.
    JAMA 1996 Nov;276(18):1473-9
    Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco, USA.
    Objectives: To determine (1) the number and proportion of Americans living with chronic conditions, and (2) the magnitude of their costs, including direct costs (annual personal health expenditures) and indirect costs to society (lost productivity due to chronic conditions and premature death).

    Design: Analysis of the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey for prevalence and direct health care costs; indirect costs based on the 1990 National Health Interview Survey and Vital Statistics of the United States.

    Setting: US population. Read More