An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease -- Charting a New Course to Save Lives and Increase Productivity and Economic Growth
More than half of all Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases. Despite dramatic improvements in therapies and treatment, the rates of disease have risen dramatically - and that rising rate is a crucial but frequently ignored contributor to rising medical expenditures.
The human and economic toll of chronic disease on patients' families and society is enormous. Yet while a number of studies have sought to estimate the economic costs of illness, there has not been a significant focus on estimating the costs that could be avoided through efforts to reduce the prevalence and burden of chronic disease. The purpose of this study is to quantify the economic and business costs of chronic disease: the potential impact on employers, the government and the nation's economy. It estimates current and future treatment costs and lost productivity for seven of the most common chronic diseases -- cancer (broken into several types), diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, pulmonary conditions and mental disorders. Each has been linked to behavioral and/or environmental risk factors that broad-based prevention programs could address.
Among the findings:
The full report includes a State Chronic Disease Index, as well as tables for each state, looking at disease rates, projections of avoidable costs, and intergenerational impacts.
The Executive Summary and Research Findings are also available for download.