More chronic illness in younger people

Dan Grech Jan 6, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

More chronic illness in younger people

Dan Grech Jan 6, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: There’s a new study out this morning that looks at out-of-pocket medical costs, and it compares what people are paying today versus a decade ago. It’s much more today — 40 percent more. Apparently people are getting chronic diseases — and more of them — earlier in life. Here’s Marketplace’s Dan Grech.


Dan Grech: Alexis is an urban planner in White Plains, New York. At age 30, she has two chronic illnesses — fibromyalgia and gastroparesis. Even with health insurance, her co-payments for doctors’ visits and prescription drugs are $250 a month.

Alexis: It is a lot of money. There are sometimes certain doctors I think I should visit but don’t, because I just don’t want to spend $20.

That balancing act is becoming more common, according to a new study in the journal Health Affairs. Study author Kathy Paez found that middle-aged Americans today are 10 percent more likely to suffer from more than one chronic disease.

Kathy Paez: Because they have multiple diseases, they’re having to purchase a number of medications, and then their co-payments are higher, because employers are coping with the costs by reducing benefits.

Paez says obesity and a lack of exercise are leading to more chronic illness.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.