Treatment for hypertension forestalls certain medical expenses by preventing strokes and heart disease. Yet any money so saved amounts to only one-fourth of the expenditures required to treat the hypertensive population. Therefore, there is no economic justification for preventive treatment for hypertension.

Which of the following, if true, is most damaging to the conclusion above?

The many fatal strokes and heart attacks resulting from untreated hypertension cause insignificant medical expenditures but large economic losses of other sorts.

The cost, per patient, of preventive treatment for hypertension would remain constant even if such treatment were instituted on a large scale.

In matters of health care, economic considerations should ideally not be dominant.

Effective prevention presupposes early diagnosis, and programs to ensure early diagnosis are costly.

The net savings in medical resources achieved by some preventive health measures are smaller than the net losses attributable to certain other measures of this kind.


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