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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
August 25, 2020

Lung Diseases Affecting US Workers Cost Billions Annually

JAMA. 2020;324(8):734. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.14764

Annual expenditures for US workers totaled $7 billion for asthma care and $5 billion for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care between 2011 and 2015, according to CDC researchers.

They noted that workplace exposures contribute to as much as 44% of asthma cases and half of COPD cases in US adults. To assess the economic impact of these 2 diseases among employees in various occupations, the researchers analyzed 2011 to 2015 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. During that period, 8 million US workers required asthma care at least once and 7 million required at least 1 episode of COPD care.