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Costly Illnesses

According to the study, West Virginia had 1.3 million cases of the seven most familiar chronic diseases in 2003. That figure consists of 72,000 cases of cancer (4.2 percent); 111,000 cases of diabetes (6.3 percent); 178,000 cases of heart disease (10.1 percent); 301,000 cases of hypertension (17 percent); 20,000 cases of stroke (1.1 percent); 225,000 cases of mental disorders (12.7 percent); and 371,000 cases of pulmonary conditions (21 percent).

The total cost to the state's economy comprises of $2.3 billion in treatment expenditures and $8.1 billion in lost productivity, according to the study. Lost productivity takes in not only those who missed work but also those who showed up for work but did not carry out well because of chronic illness, the report states.

According to the report, those numbers put West Virginia at the bottom nationally in terms of the cost of chronic diseases on the economy. The bottom five states in the study are West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi. Conversely, the top states in the study are Utah, Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

 

 

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