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In 2015, cancer deaths cost the U.S. $94 billion in lost earnings, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.
For the study, researchers used 2015 cancer mortality and life expectancy data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate person-years of life lost. They also used data on annual median earnings in the U.S. to determine lost earnings due to cancer deaths.
Cancer caused more than 600,000 deaths in 2015 and a collective 8.7 million years of life lost, translating into $94.4 billion in lost earnings.
After adjusting for age and population differences, researchers found Kentucky had the highest rate of lost earnings at $35.3 million per 100,000 people. Utah had the lowest rate at $19.6 million per 100,000 people, according to STAT. If every state matched Utah’s rate, the U.S. would’ve prevented 2.4 million years of lost life and $27.7 billion in lost earnings in 2015.
“Preventing premature deaths from cancer through delivery of effective cancer prevention, screening and treatment may have economic benefit for the United States nationally and in all states,” researchers concluded.
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