WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Child abuse and neglect
cost the United States $124 billion a year, which is comparable to
the costs of other major public health problems, a new government
Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention analyzed 1,740 fatal and 579,000 nonfatal cases of child
maltreatment over the course of one year.
The investigators found that the lifetime cost for each victim
of nonfatal child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse,
psychological abuse and neglect) was $210,012. That's higher than
the per-person lifetime cost of stroke ($159,846) and similar to
the per-person cost of type 2 diabetes (between $181,000 and
The average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child
maltreatment includes: $32,648 in childhood health care costs;
$10,530 in adult medical costs; $144,360 in lost productivity;
$7,728 in child welfare costs; $6,747 in criminal justice costs;
and $7,999 in special education costs.
The total estimated lifetime cost for fatal child maltreatment
includes $14,100 in medical costs and $1,258,800 in productivity
losses, according to the study published online Jan. 31 in
Child Abuse & Neglect, The International Journal.
"No child should ever be the victim of abuse or neglect -- nor do they have to be. The human and financial costs can be prevented through prevention of child maltreatment," Linda Degutis, director of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in an agency news release.
Research has shown that child maltreatment has many harmful
effects on survivors, including poorer health, social and emotional
difficulties, and decreased economic productivity.
"Federal, state and local public health agencies, as well as policymakers, must advance the awareness of the lifetime economic impact of child maltreatment and take immediate action with the same momentum and intensity dedicated to other high profile public health problems -- in order to save lives, protect the public's health, and save money," Degutis said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about