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7 Most Costly Urological Diseases

U.S. Spent Nearly $11 Billion on Urological Diseases in 2000
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 2, 2007 -- U.S. medical care costs for urologic diseases neared $11 billion in 2000, with urinary tract infections leading the list of costliest conditions.

Those figures appear in a new report funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The report comes from researchers including Mark Litwin, MD, MPH, professor of urology and health services at the David Geffen School of Medicine and School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Litwin's team gathered data on the cost of outpatient visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations for urologic diseases in 2000. Compiling the 716-page report took five years, states an NIH news release. Here are America's seven most costly urologic diseases, along with their 2000 national medical care tab, according to the report:

  1. Urinary tract infections: nearly $3.5 billion
  2. Kidney stones: more than $2 billion
  3. Bladder cancer: more than $1.7 billion
  4. Prostate cancer: nearly $1.3 billion
  5. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate): $1.1 billion
  6. Urinary incontinence: more than $462 million
  7. Erectile dysfunction: more than $327 million

"This research sharply illustrates the immense burden of urologic diseases and the importance of studies to preempt disease processes and develop targeted treatments," says NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, MD, in an NIH news release.

The report, titled "Urologic Diseases in America," is posted on the web site of the NIH's National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

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