Disease Prevention Could Save U.S. Billions of Dollars
MONDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Increased efforts to prevent
several lifestyle-related diseases could save the United States
billions of dollars a year in medical costs, researchers say.
Using 2003-2005 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey,
the investigators estimated how reductions in the rates of
diabetes, high blood pressure and related conditions would affect
health care spending.
The findings were released online Nov. 18 and are scheduled to
be published in the January print issue of the
American Journal of Public Health.
The study authors concluded that reducing the prevalence of
diabetes and high blood pressure by 5 percent would save the nation
about $9 billion a year in the near term. In addition, conditions
related to those health problems would also be reduced, which would
increase the savings to about $24.7 billion a year in the medium
"Our estimate that $24.7 billion in excess medical spending would be avoided annually if primary prevention were able to achieve a 5 percent reduction in only the conditions we examined can be considered a conservative estimate of the investment in prevention activities that could be offset by medical care savings alone," the researchers noted in a news release from the American Public Health Association.
Although further research is needed to determine the costs and
confirm the benefits of primary disease prevention, the "large
potential savings to government health programs may provide
justification for public investments in this research," they
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains how
common behaviors affect your health.
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