The health burden and economic costs of cutaneous melanoma mortality by race/ethnicity–United States, 2000 to 2006

Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 4.45). 11/2011; 65(5 Suppl 1):S133-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.04.036
Source: PubMed


Cutaneous melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer with more than 8000 deaths per year in the United States. The health burden and economic costs associated with melanoma mortality by race/ethnicity have not been appropriately addressed.
We sought to quantify the health burden and economic costs associated with melanoma mortality among racial/ethnic groups in the United States.
We used 2000 to 2006 national mortality data and US life tables to estimate the number of deaths, and years of potential life lost (YPLL). Further, we estimated the economic costs of melanoma mortality in terms of productivity losses. All the estimates were stratified by race/ethnicity and sex.
From 2000 to 2006, we estimated an increase of 13,349 (8.7%) YPLL because of melanoma mortality compared with a 2.8% increase among all malignant cancers across all race/ethnicity. On average, an individual in the United States loses 20.4 years of potential life during their lifetime as a result of melanoma mortality compared with 16.6 years for all malignant cancers. The estimated annual productivity loss attributed to melanoma mortality was $3.5 billion. Our estimates suggest that an individual who died from melanoma in 2000 through 2006 would lose an average of $413,370 in forgone lifetime earnings. YPLL rates and total productivity losses are much higher among non-Hispanic whites as compared with non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
The estimated economic costs did not include treatment, morbidity, and intangible costs.
We estimated substantial YPLL and productivity losses as a result of melanoma mortality during an individual's lifetime. By examining the burden by race/ethnicity, this study provides useful information to assist policy-makers in making informed resource allocation decisions regarding cutaneous melanoma mortality.

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