Chronic Disease Impact on Public Health

Chronic Disease Impact on Public Health

Chronic Diseases Impact on Public Health

Chronic Diseases are a major public health crisis because of their impact on quality of life, morbidity and mortality, and cost to the healthcare system: Almost one out of every two U.S. adults (~107 million people) reported having at least one of six chronic illnesses – cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, or arthritis – in 2008 (APHA- Get the Facts).

Seven out of ten deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases with heart disease, cancer, and stroke accounting for more than 50% of all yearly deaths (CDC, 2012).

Obesity, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, costs the U.S. $147 billion annually in 2008 dollars (CDC, Overweight and Obesity Facts, 2012).

By 2030, medical costs associated with obesity are expected to increase by at least $48 billion annually, with the annual loss in economic productivity totaling $390 billion to $580 billion (Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), 2012).

Economic Rationale for Preventative Healthcare

The five most costly and preventable chronic conditions cost the U.S. nearly $347 billion (30% of total health spending) in 2010 (Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2010).

Effective public health interventions and policies that target chronic diseases lead to a healthier population with lower health care spending, less school and workplace absenteeism, increased economic productivity, and an improved quality of life (APHA, 2012).

By investing in prevention and treatment of the most common chronic diseases, the U.S. could decrease treatment costs by $218 billion per year and reduce the economic impact of disease by $1.1 trillion annually (Milken Institute, 2007).


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