If gene therapy can fix the genetic factors then schizophrenia could be reduced by 70%. This would save tens of billions of dollars each year in the USA and hundreds of billions of dollars around the world. It would reduce homelessness by up to 20% and reduce the number of people in prison and in hospitals.
Schizophrenia is a devastating disorder for most people who are afflicted, and very costly for families and society. The overall U.S. 2002 cost of schizophrenia was estimated to be $62.7 billion, with $22.7 billion excess direct health care cost ($7.0 billion outpatient, $5.0 billion drugs, $2.8 billion inpatient, $8.0 billion long-term care). (source: Analysis Group, Inc.)
The approximate number of people in the United States suffering from:
Schizophrenia: Over 2.2 million people
Multiple Sclerosis: 400,000 people
Insulin-dependent Diabetes: 350,000 people
Muscular Dystrophy: 35,000 people
The Prevalance Rate for schizophrenia is approximately 1.1% of the population over the age of 18 (source: NIMH) or, in other words, at any one time as many as 51 million people worldwide suffer from schizophrenia, including;
6 to 12 million people in China (a rough estimate based on the population)
4.3 to 8.7 million people in India (a rough estimate based on the population)
2.2 million people in USA
285,000 people in Australia
Over 280,000 people in Canada
Over 250,000 diagnosed cases in Britain
Approximately 200,000 individuals with schizophrenia or manic-depressive illness are homeless, constituting one-third of the approximately 600,000 homeless population (total homeless population statistic based on data from Department of Health and Human Services).
6% are homeless or live in shelters
6% live in jails or prisons
5% to 6% live in Hospitals
10% live in Nursing homes
25% live with a family member
28% are living independently
20% live in Supervised Housing (group homes, etc.)
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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