Calls On Congress, Biden Administration to Support Greater Funding for Prevention of Chronic Diseases in Communities Most Damaged by Covid-19 Pandemic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Scott Reid
ATLANTA (June 4, 2021) —The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) has published its annual collection of fact sheets about the economic and social costs of chronic diseases in the United States and the programs needed to help prevent the diseases. Specifically this year, the fact sheets make the case to Congress and the Biden Administration that greater financial support in Fiscal Year 2022 is critical to helping those communities already at high risk for chronic diseases recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The reduced access to preventive healthcare services and uncertainty about accessing what services were available for fear of contracting COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the health outcomes of Americans,” said John W. Robitscher, MPH, NACDD’s CEO. “Congress can prevent or reduce the expected increase in chronic diseases we face after the pandemic by funding more preventive services and screenings.”
Typically, NACDD uses these fact sheets to garner legislative support specifically for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and for State and Territorial Health Departments working on these issues.
Black, Latinx, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities, in particular, who already are at higher risk for preventable illness and death from many chronic diseases, may face even greater barriers after the pandemic to protecting and promoting their health. NACDD cites particular concern for these populations being able to access missed or delayed cancer screenings and in their receiving support for diabetes or hypertension prevention and control programs.
This year’s fact sheets call for increases in national funding from FY 2021 by 22% for breast and cervical cancer screening programs; 25% for diabetes prevention and control programs; and 12% for the CDC’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, including the Paul Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry Program, Sodium Reduction in Communities Program, and the WISEWOMAN program, among others.
NACDD Board President Dr. Susan Kansagra contributed to an April 2021 article in Modern Healthcare about a looming chronic disease wave.
“Things like diabetes and hypertension require continuous care, and so to the extent that care has been delayed, there may be more uncontrolled diabetes, more uncontrolled hypertension that we’re seeing in our communities,” Dr. Kansagra told the publication.
It’s estimated that six in 10 adults in the U.S. have at least one chronic disease, and four in 10 have two or more, according to the CDC. During the pandemic, many patients have been choosing to delay care for these diseases due to ongoing and unfounded fears about contracting COVID-19 at a healthcare facility.
COVID-19 also is expected to foster its own, more direct long-term health consequences, whether through so-called “long-haul syndrome,” or through consequences of being sickened or severely ill with the virus. Older individuals and those with serious underlying medical conditions who contracted the virus may face heart and lung damage as well as blood clots, which will need continued management and treatment. Some individuals also engaged in risky health behaviors during the pandemic such as overeating, smoking, alcohol or drug use, and physical inactivity, likely a result of increased stress and anxiety levels.
Dr. David Hoffman, NACDD Policy Committee Chair and Board Associate At Large Director, said, “Outcomes of underlying medical conditions and those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be greatly diminished without greater funding for preventative services and healthcare. This is an opportunity to plan for those patients when they’ll need it most.”
- FY 2022 Chronic Disease Appropriation Fact Sheets
- COVID-19 Resilience Dashboard
- COVID-19 State Resources Center
- Is the COVID-19 Pandemic an Adverse Childhood Experience?
- How State Health Departments Can Help Build Trust in Public Health and Promote Health Equity during COVID and Beyond
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
Promoting Health. Preventing Disease.
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and its more than 7,000 Members seek to strengthen state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in states and nationally. Established in 1988, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NACDD is the only membership association of its kind to serve and represent every chronic disease division in all states and U.S. territories. For more information, visit chronicdisease.org