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ATLANTA (Nov. 29, 2018) – The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) released a new white paper today, “Investing in the Future: Why Preventing Chronic Disease is Essential – Prevention Works,” to support federal funding for CDC and state-based interventions in chronic disease prevention, control, and health promotion.
The paper outlines some of the strongest public health, economic, and societal cases for increasing the government’s focus on reducing the burden of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, which are among the leading causes of preventable disability and death in the United States. The white paper also shares the impact that obesity (often a contributing factor to many chronic diseases) has on youth health and military readiness.
“This call to action from the public health and healthcare sectors points to a tremendous opportunity for Congress to lead on improving the health and well-being of all Americans,” said David Hoffman, DPS, CCE, Chair of NACDD’s Policy Committee. “The investment NACDD calls for in chronic disease prevention and control can support a healthy workforce, healthy military, and healthy families across the lifespan.”
Chronic diseases account for seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2014, and up to 46% of all deaths in 2014 were caused by heart disease and cancer alone. More than 86% of all of the nation’s healthcare costs relate to chronic diseases, and most of such costs are preventable.
Although evidence suggests that physical activity can reduce the risk for many serious chronic illnesses, studies show that at least 50% of U.S. adults do not meet the recommended aerobic physical activity guidelines. Another major risk factor for chronic disease – tobacco use – remains a concern, particularly among American youth. According to the CDC, approximately one in seven U.S. adults still smoke cigarettes, and approximately 3.9 million middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.
State-based public health initiatives have been shown to positively impact health, increasing the potential for a healthier workforce and enhanced military readiness.
“States are making important progress in preventing chronic diseases in their communities, and this led us to call for greater investment in their work,” said John Robitscher, MPH, CEO of NACDD. “If Congress commits $500 million annually for the next four years to our national effort, every state and territory will have improved access to the resources they need to use proven strategies to help people live longer, healthier lives, to be a more productive workforce, and to support military readiness.”
NACDD offers additional white papers, policy priorities, and other advocacy resources on its website, chronicdisease.org. A database of success stories of state and territorial work reducing the burden of chronic disease is available at publichealthsuccess.org.
About The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
Since 1988, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and its nearly 7,000 Members have worked to strengthen state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in all states, territories, and nationally. Learn more at chronicdisease.org.