U.S. health expenditures for mental disorders exceeded spending for every other medical condition in 2013 at $201 billion, according to a study published online this week by Health Affairs. Spending for heart conditions and trauma were the next highest, at $147 billion and $143 billion, respectively, followed by cancer and pulmonary conditions, at $122 billion and $95 billion. About 40% of spending for mental disorders was for institutionalized populations. “Spending on mental disorders tends to be underestimated in other sources because institutionalized populations are excluded,” the authors said. “A second key finding is the continuing low rate of growth in spending on heart conditions and cerebrovascular disease,” notes author Charles Roehrig, founding director of Altarum Institute’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending. “Most of the fastest growing conditions, in terms of spending, are associated with obesity, yet heart conditions and cerebrovascular disease – which are also associated with obesity – have exhibited very low spending growth. Age-adjusted death rates for these two conditions have been declining, and research suggests the importance of reductions in smoking, other lifestyle improvements, better control of risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, and improvements in treatment.”