When we think about the U.S. economy, big numbers are bound to pop up. The biggest example is the National Debt, which is approaching 20 trillion dollars. This is a figure that I find incomprehensible. However, many of the same types of numbers apply to some of the pulmonary diseases that we see, and particularly the complications. I will mention one at the end of this article that I found especially mind boggling.
The incidence of some pulmonary diseases can be staggering. The best example is COPD which occurs in about 12.5 million people just in the U.S. alone, with about the same number yet to be diagnosed. Asthma has similar statistics. There are about 25 million people in the U.S. with asthma, or about 8% of the population. Once again, the incidence of a disease does not tell the whole story, particularly as it applies to the cost in medical care and associated issues such as lost work time.
Here are some of the big numbers that I was referring to earlier. In 2007 the costs associated with asthma in the U.S., which included general medical costs, lost school and work time, and early death was 56 billion dollars; and by 2013 that cost had risen to 81 billion dollars. In case you want to see this expressed in another way, here it is $81,000,000,000!!
What is the point of this article? I am not sure. I guess I just wanted to share these incredible figures with you.