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AHRQ: Spending on trauma surpasses heart disease

U.S. spending to treat trauma-related disorders nearly doubled between 1996 and 2003 to surpass heart disease as the leading medical expenditure by condition, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported. Over the same period, spending for heart conditions increased nearly 17%. The number of Americans with medical expenditures for heart conditions and cancer increased over the period, while the number of Americans with medical expenditures for trauma was roughly unchanged, according to AHRQ. The data are from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.