Dementia is the most expensive condition to treat in public health system

December 05, 2018 - 3:00 am

KYW’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — One of the major concerns in public health is the cost of care. 

Certain conditions cost a great deal to treat — heart disease or cancer come to mind, but in actuality, the most expensive condition to treat is dementia. 

It costs the health care system somewhere between $175 billion to $250 billion each year. Researchers estimate that most of the costs are not from medication or treatment; rather, about 80 percent of these costs are due to nursing home care or home care. 

The news does not get any better. Due to our aging population, the costs of dementia could double by 2040 if disease treatment does not improve.