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NACDD Policy White Paper Calls for Prevention-Solution to Chronic Disease Burden

Thursday, October 29, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Patton
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National Association of Chronic Disease Directors Releases White Paper Calling for Prevention-Solution to Chronic Disease Burden

October 29, 2015 -Atlanta, GA

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) released a timely white paper citing immediate need for a national focus on chronic disease prevention.

Spotlighting the alarming burden of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, NACDD presents a clear and logical argument for a ‘prevention-solution’ to America’s chronic disease crisis that is responsible for 86% of all healthcare spending.

According to the World Health Organization, the United States ranks 37th in the world for health outcomes while number one in highest spending.  Statistically, care for those with diabetes cost Americans $245 billion in 2012, while heart disease rang in at $315 billion in 2010 and today is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths.   Comparatively, cancer costs totaled only $157 billion in 2010, yet today’s data projects 1.6 million Americans will be newly diagnosed for cancer in 2015. 

“The obvious solution is prevention,” states NACDD Board Member and Chairman of its Government Affairs Committee, David Hoffman.  “Prevention interventions are readily available – it is the will to fund them, that requires action,” he adds, noting in the paper that only a fraction of government spending currently goes towards prevention.

“Funding prevention is economics 101 and the first line of defense against premature death, and the crippling cost of care,” says NACDD CEO, John Robitscher. 

The paper notes that physical inactivity is the chief contributor to obesity which in turn is the chief driver of most chronic conditions.  It cites that physical activity can reduce cardiovascular disease by up to 50% and the risk of diabetes by 40%-60%.  Breast cancer risks can be reduced by 20%-30% and colon cancer reduced by 30%-40% through routine physical activity and weight loss.

“Obese adults spend 42% more on direct healthcare costs when compared to those at a healthy weight,” according to authors, Levi, Segal, Rayburn and Martin in their report: The State of Obesity: 2015. Better Policies for a Healthier America.

The paper also directs attention on quality of life, noting that 117 million Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease and three fourths of those over 65 have multiple ones.  These serious diseases, by definition, are lifelong conditions that are often manageable but not curable and a large portion of those affected by chronic disease are left living with disability and a diminished quality of life.

According to the paper, the United States funds prevention efforts at approximately the same amount as it did in 2001 and calls for the immediate investment in a comprehensive prevention strategy on a meaningful scale.

The white paper will be widely disseminated to national, state and local policy makers. 

Click here to download the white paper.

To learn more or request an interview with its authors, please contact John Patton at:  770-458-7400 x222

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) is a national, public health nonprofit, serving the health departments of all 50 states and US Territories working in chronic disease prevention and control and representing more than 6,000 members.  For more information, please visit