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The rising cost of health care and increasing prevalence of chronic diseases are giving the health care industry a run for its money.

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Forbes magazine lists the nine most expensive diseases according to survey data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). As shown at right, the list breaks the statistics into condition-related categories and ranks them by annual cost, including government spending and private insurance spending.


The data also identify the number of Americans who have each condition. For instance, 31 million Americans receive treatment for mental illness.


While costs and populations have grown significantly, the conditions on the list have remained fairly constant over the past few decades, according to Joel Cohen, director of AHRQ's division of social and economic research. For more information, visit AHRQ's Web site at or the Forbes Web site at (search for The Most Expensive Diseases).