Americans' obsession with turning beating their biological clock is growing by leaps and bounds.
People with insurance are currently spending more to keep their bodies wrinkle-free and sufficiently hairy than treating diseases that could actually pose dangers to their health.
The proof is in the numbers.
Since 2006, insured Americans upped their spending on prescriptions for "aging conditions" like like sexual dysfunction, wrinkles, and hair loss by 46 percent, according to a recent study by Express Scripts–– an average of $73 per person.
The only treatments that managed to outrank aging medications were diabetes and high cholesterol.
Here's what we're spending the most on:
Hormone replacement therapy
And it's not just tradtionally insured consumers that are paying the most. Medicare patients spent 32 percent more on age-related prescriptions from 2007 to 2011, making it a faster growing treatment area than high cholesterol and high blood pressure combined.
What the study leaves out, however, is how much consumers are shelling out for over-the-counter treatments and those that aren't generally covered by insurers, like laser hair removal and plastic surgery. Market research firm Global Analysts predicts Americans' fear of aging could drive them to spend as much as $114 billion on these types of treatments by 2015.
Although Express Scripts, which happens to be one of the largest pharmacy management companies in the country, didn't exactly call this trend frivolous, Bankrate.com's Jennie L. Phipps was quick to read between the lines.
"...It did raise some sticky questions that anyone thinking about ways to control health care costs should also consider. The study suggested that if people spend all their money on drugs to treat normal aging, they may not have enough left over for more critical health needs. It also speculated that a system like Medicare that devotes large amounts of money to treat age-related ailments might be forced to reduce what it spends on other, more serious health problems if there were a funding shortage."