Navigation Links
The cost of medicalizing human conditions
Date:5/17/2010

Menopause. Normal pregnancy. Infertility. ADHD. Erectile dysfunction. Over the last several decades, these conditions have come to be defined and treated as medical problems. They've been "medicalized." In the first study of its kind in the current issue of Social Science and Medicine, Brandeis researchers used national data to estimate the costs of these and a handful of other common conditions on escalating U.S. healthcare spending.

The researchers, led by Brandeis sociologist Peter Conrad, evaluated 12 conditions that had been defined as medicalized by physician organizations, and for which there were current medical spending data. The other conditions considered in the study were anxiety and behavioral disorders; body image; male pattern baldness; normal sadness; obesity; sleep disorders, and substance-related disorders.

The robust trend toward ever-greater medicalization of human conditions is undeniable, with an increasing number of medical diagnoses and treatments for behavioral problems and normal life events. Conrad and his colleagues analyzed medical spending on these disorderspayments to hospitals, pharmacies, physicians and other health care providersand discovered that they accounted for $77.1 billion in medical spending in 20053.9 percent of total domestic health care expenditures.

"We spend more on these medicalized conditions than on cancer, heart disease, or public health," said Conrad. "While medicalization is unlikely to be a key driver of skyrocketing health care costs, $77 billion represents a substantial dollar sum."

Although the study did not evaluate whether medicalization is good or bad for health and society, it demonstrates the need for understanding the societal and economic impact of growing medicalization. Conrad explained that some researchers attributed medicalization to the growth of medicine's professional jurisdiction, increased consumer demands for medical solutions, and the pharmaceutical industry expanding markets for drugs.

"By estimating the amount spent on medicalized human problems, we've raised the obvious question as to whether this spending is 'appropriate,'" said Conrad. "The next question is whether we can more directly evaluate the appropriateness of these medical interventions and consider policies that curb the growth or even shrink the amount of spending on some medicalized conditions."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Gardner
gardner@brandeis.edu
781-736-4204
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. It was brawn over beauty in human mating competition
2. Human Touch Brand Ambassador and PGA Pro Tim Clark Wins First PGA TOUR Victory at PLAYERS Championship
3. McGill-UBC project creates mouse grimace scale to help identify pain in humans and animals
4. Hardship and human rights violations continue among Burma cyclone survivors
5. Gulf Oil Spill Could Threaten Human Health
6. CEO Back from Mission to Haiti, Returns with Renewed Hope in the Human Spirit
7. Human Growth Hormone Does Boost Athletic Performance
8. New research about human genetic diseases and human development
9. American Human Development Project Releases 'A Century Apart,' Revealing Alarming Disparities in Well-Being Among U.S. Racial and Ethnic Groups
10. CBCA Names Tim Reed as Vice President, Human Resources
11. Human Touch Returns to High Point Market with the First iPhone/iPod Touch Controlled Massage Chair
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... The ... a time to honor the civilian nurses that care for its uniformed service members, ... signed a proclamation in 1974 designating May 6th through May 12th National Nurses Week. ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) ... (“the Match”), the system through which U.S. and international medical school students and ... were placed in the 2016 Match, and 29,572 were filled when the matching ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... MedPro Waste Disposal, LLC (MedPro) is proud to announce ... its mail back service for an all-inclusive rate. MedPro Disposal President, Dan Hansen, says, ... to all of the clients in the country who are looking for an alternative ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... fat,” wraps itself around major organs, such as the kidneys, liver and pancreas. ... Robert Drapkin, M.D ., a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... Centers (AAC) event, will be held at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, ... of Social Work (NASW) will be co-hosting the event. , This year’s conference ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... TURIN, Italy , April 27, 2016 ... MR-guided linear accelerator (MR-linac) platform will be the focal ... annual meeting of the European Society for Radiotherapy & ... Elekta,s MR-linac integrates a state-of-the-art radiotherapy system and ... a physician to clearly see the patient,s anatomy in ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... April 27, 2016   Zillion Group ... health technology platform, which specializes in live video ... scalable digital products, Zillion enables companies to realize ... consumers to take control of their health. ... conferencing – including one-to-one, group and webcast scheduled ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016  Bayer Animal Health ... senior from the University of Florida College of ... Bayer Excellence in Communication Award (BECA). Brittany was ... were awarded a total of $70,000 in scholarship ... four years, Bayer has provided a total of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: