Chronic Disease and Three Keys to Prevention
Chronic Diseases are not only common in the United States, but incredibly costly for both individuals and the healthcare system. Chronic Diseases are “ongoing, generally incurable illnesses or conditions such as heart disease, asthma, cancer and diabetes.” Most of these diseases are preventable, and can be effectively managed with early detection and through effective treatment and lifestyle modifications.
The High Cost of Chronic Disease
Chronic Disease accounts for a disproportionate amount of healthcare spending in the United States. For instance, in publicly funded healthcare programs it is estimated that treatment for chronic disease is responsible for 99% of total Medicare spending and 83% of Medicaid spending.
On average treatment of chronic conditions costs more than $5000.00 per individual per year, more than double the amount of healthcare spending for those without chronic diseases. In addition to spending on healthcare treatment for chronic diseases, there is a cost impact in other areas of the economy as well. For instance, chronic diseases cost employers via productivity in the form of days off of work, or higher health care premiums, sick leave, and disability.
- 81% of hospitals admissions; 91% of prescriptions filled; and 76% of all physician visits are related to chronic disease
Unfortunately, Chronic Diseases are also the leading cause of death in the United States.
- 133 million Americans, or nearly half of the population have at least one chronic disease
- Chronic disease is the cause of 7 out of every 10 deaths in the U.S., and kill over 1.7 million Americans each year
- When not deadly, chronic diseases also greatly impact quality of life, especially if the disease is left untreated for a prolonged period of time. For instance, every 30 seconds a lower limb is amputated as a result of untreated diabetes.
3 Ways to Prevent Chronic Disease
The good news is that the majority of chronic conditions are preventable. Prevention boils down to three lifestyle changes
- Improving Your Diet
- Increasing your Physical Activity
- Not Smoking
The CDC Estimates that eliminating the risk factors of poor diet, inactivity and smoking would prevent 80% of heart disease and stroke; 80% of type 2 diabetes; and 40% of cancer.
Are you taking actions to avoid chronic disease through healthy lifestyle choices? We would love to hear from you in the comments below or on social!